Mr. Zoellick visited the port transit yard where he observed the operation of the GCNet satellite tracking system which is being used by Ghana Customs Excise and Preventive Service to monitor transit cargoes that pass through the Ghanaian ports to the Sahelian countries of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger as well as Togo and Cote d’Ivoire.
Accompanied by the Bank’s Vice President for the Africa Region, Obiageli Ezekwesili, the Country Director, Ishac Diwan, the IFC Country Manager for Ghana, Imoni Akpofure, and other senior members of the Ghanaian government, Mr. Zoellick stopped at the starting point of the rehabilitated regional highway to Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger - a multi-donor endeavor whose special features include an IFC-financed public-privately automated customs services and transit cargo electronic tracking system.
A group of cross-country truckers who assembled to greet Mr. Zoellick at their parking lot, expressed delight about the new tracking system because of the turn-around time they will gain at the port.
The satellite tracking system, which was the first to be deployed by any African Customs administration, had enabled Ghana Customs Excise and Preventive Service to abolish the old escort system which was inherently unsafe for the customs personnel and prone to abuse by transit operators. The main objectives of this innovative solution are the improvement of transit operations and the elimination of diversion of transit goods into the local economy.
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