The Eighth Annual Conference of the Borderless Alliance will come off in Accra from April 24-26, to provide platform for transporters, manufacturers, policy-makers and other key stakeholders to discuss challenges to trade and transport facilitation in West Africa.
The three-day conference, on the theme: “Facilitating Intra-Regional Trade in West Africa: Emerging Trends”, would enable members of the Organisation to draw the attention of policy-makers, political and administrative decision-makers to critical issues relating to trade facilitation within the West Africa corridor.
Addressing the media at the launch of the conference in Accra, on Thursday, Mr Ziad Hamoui, the National President of the Organisation, said the theme was carefully chosen given the urgent need for Africa and the Sub-region to experience rapid growth in trade following the adoption of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement by the African Union.
He observed that African nations could not fully industrialise if trade facilitation and emerging challenges were not addressed expeditiously, and believed that the conference would enable business leaders and policy-makers across the Sub-region to discuss the challenges and find lasting solutions to them.
Mr Hamoui said the theme was selected for the conference sought to focus on emerging trends and initiatives towards the improvement of trade across West Africa, by examining key issues within some of the major regional trade links such as border crossing procedures, road governance and port processes, as well as updates on current trade and transport policies that facilitate intra-regional trade.
Borderless Alliance is a private sector led advocacy platform and member association established in 2011 to address the barriers affecting regional trade.
It uses evidence-based advocacy to promote free trade and regional integration, movement of goods and people in the West Africa Sub-region by tackling barriers to intra-regional trade and transport to ensure competitive trade, streamlining procedures and attacking corruption.
Over the years, the annual conference had helped in streamlining ECOWAS trade protocols and Trade Liberation Scheme, Axle Load Implementation and Joint Border Post.
Mr Hamoui said the conference would provide a platform for members to share experience and knowledge, engage in advocacy and networking, as well as establish business relationship to facilitate development.
On the sidelines of the conference, he said it would hold its annual general meeting and review past activities and the financial statements for the year 2018.
Prospective participants are required to pay 200 dollars in cedi equivalent for their registration, while those from the Francophone countries are supposed to pay 100, 000 CFA.
It said participation was open to all trade and transport stakeholders in the Sub-region, and interested persons and organisations could log onto: www.borderlesswa.com/conference2019/registration for registration and details about the conference.
The Organisation’s vision is to have a West Africa where goods, people, services and capital move quickly, efficiently and inexpensively across borders to advance stronger economic growth, higher profits for companies and greater income for national governments, and increased investment and creation of more jobs.
The event would bring more than 1,000 members of the Organisation from the West Africa Sub-region, including manufacturers and producers, transport and logistics service providers, distributors, importers, financial institutions, consultants, state agencies and international development agencies.
The event is being organised by the Borderless Alliance Executive Secretariat and Borderless Alliance Ghana National Chapter and would be hosted by the Ghana Shippers’ Authority.