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BRIBES LEAD IN BORDER CRIME- WORLD BANK

Bribery and Corruption along the border regions continues to be the leading risk by traders in cross- border trading, a World Bank survey shows how African countries are losing on billions of dollars in potential trade earnings.
A typical account of everyday conditions is provided by an egg and sugar seller in Rwanda. She narrated that ‘I buy my eggs in Rwanda as soon as I cross to Congo I give one egg to every official who ask me. Some days I give away more than 30 eggs’.
Addressing the Challenges in Ghana-Nigeria Trade relations to strengthen ECOWAS, the World Bank 2011 Survey indicates that bribes toped with 85 percent followed by Fines 60%, acts of violence, threats and sexual harassment 54%,Confiscation of goods 38%, rude behaviors, verbal abuse and insults 38% and Long waits 19% followed in that order.
The World Bank Country Director, Mr Yusupha B. Crookes says these high trade barriers leads to regional fragmentation which deprives the continent of new sources of economic growth, new jobs and sharply falling poverty.
He says the lack of implementation of ECOWAS commitment in the region has led to the continuous practice of trade barriers.

‘Steps to facilitate trade’

The World Bank survey called on policy makers to reduce the number of agencies and an increase in transparency at the borderlines. Adding that the lack of transparency and consistency in the application of trade rules constrain trade borders. The Immigration, Customs, Health and Hygiene and Quality control of goods should be the only agents at the border areas, he stated.
The WB called for an increased in professionalism of officials and greater gender awareness. The survey recommended the increase in the number of female border officials is an important step. It says more women at the border may reduce sexual crimes. The WB called for an enhanced training of officials on border crossing.

‘Ghana’s effort’
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Dr. Joseph Samuel Annan says the government will resort to regional dialogue in the implementation of free movement at the borders.
He stated that plans are far advance to lift the technical and political barriers along the borders in the sub-region. Dr J.S Annan address participates at the workshop said a joint commission made up representatives from the various West African Countries will meet to tackle regional barriers.
Commenting on the implementation of the ECOWAS Card, Dr J S Annan noted that due to the political instability in some of the West African states, the commission has decided to put on hold the ECOWAS Card free movement policy. According to him, when the region has resolve to political instability in Mali, Guinea-Bissau and other areas they will implement the ECOWAS Card free movement policy.

Story: Samuel Mantey, Property Express
email: sammyoo3@yahoo.com
Twitter: SamuelMantey

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April 18, 2012 - Posted by | SETTING THE NEWS AGENDA

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