Ghana has in the last three years recorded significant improvement in the quantity of timber exported and revenue generated from the domestic timber market.
Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, who made this known said Ghana had as at October 2021, exported some 248,657.909 cubic meters of timber worth over €133 million to the international market.
The domestic trade in timber wood species also accounted for about 392,117.75 cubic meters.
Between the years 2019 and 2020, a total of 526,613.29 cubic meters of timber were exported to the international timber market.
The volume was worth over €266 million, whilst the domestic market accounted for 678,406.90 cubic meters within the same time frame.
Mr Jinapor said although the data showed much improvement in the timber sector, Ghana had the capacity and ability to do more.
He was speaking to journalists after launching two cutting-edge digital application platforms for the Forestry Commission at Akyawkrom in the Ejisu Municipality of Ashanti.
The platforms were the E-Property Mark Registration/Renewal System and the Ghana Electronic Wood Tracking System.
Mr Jinapor said the Ministry had recently commissioned a study aimed at revamping the timber industry to help position the nation to take its rightful place on the international timber market.
He pointed out that lack of modern and appropriate technology had been a major challenge affecting Ghana’s performance on the international timber market.
“The technological infrastructure for accessing the international market and attracting the requisite investment demand a level of sophistication that yesterday’s systems and norms can no longer respond to.
We must, therefore, innovate constantly, and keep pace with the technological advancements necessary to access the international market.”
According to the Minister, the Ministry and its agencies had intensified efforts aimed at implementing an aggressive digitization agenda, adding that the efforts were yielding desired results.
They included the Minerals Commission online processing applications for mineral rights, and the tracking of all earth-moving equipment and machines used for mining to be able to determine, in real time, the location of this equipment and ensure they were used in a manner consistent with the mining laws.
The Lands Commission, on its part, has moved some of its services, including searches online, making it possible to conduct a search from the comfort of one’s home.
The Commission is also implementing a digitization programme to digitize all of its records, to help facilitate effective and efficient land administration.
Mr Jinapor said these initiatives if well implemented, would improve the performance efficiency of all the agencies for the benefit of the players in the sector and called for support to achieve these goals.