The WCO WACAM Project supports the Ghana Revenue Authority in developing effective stakeholder relations

09 September 2014

In August 2014 a WCO Capacity Building support mission was undertaken in Ghana. This was the final mission in a series of inputs under the auspices of the West Africa Customs Administration Modernization (WACAM) Project, a WCO Capacity Building project funded by the Swedish government. The assistance provided to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has focused on developing the capacity of the organization and its people to develop and implement a Stakeholder Engagement (SE) Strategy.

This final mission now was designed to support regional GRA managers from both Customs and Tax to set-up and run a Consultative Committee (CC) meeting as part of a national pilot programme. In the build-up to this meeting the WCO delivered training on negotiations, conflict management and communication skills and provided practical help in putting together meeting agendas, identifying appropriate matters for discussion and preparing questions for those chairing the CC meetings. The focus of the preparations was on making sure that those attending the CC meetings had the maximum opportunity to contribute their ideas and views with the aim of developing practical proposals that could be implemented.

At the first pilot event in Takoradi nearly sixty key stakeholders attended. The sessions were highly interactive with a wide range of topics being discussed. The Head of the GRA Stakeholder Engagement Team, Robert Mensah, who was chairing the meeting emphasized the importance of the CC programme and the need for meetings to be focused on "Action" rather than being purely "Talking Shops". Those attending the session echoed these views and worked together to establish a series of Working Groups. The Working Groups are to focus on developing practical proposals on key challenges including improvements to existing procedures for the issue of licenses & permits, inspection of parcels and the issue of Tax Identification Numbers. Outputs from the meeting included an Action Plan which sets out next steps and allocates responsibilities and timescales for the completion of agreed actions. The meeting was brought to a successful conclusion by the Commissioner-Customs who referred to the significance of the CC pilot programme as yet another example of how the GRA was delivering on its promises to fundamentally change the nature of its interaction and engagement with stakeholders.

It is worth noting that the WACAM Project was set up to provide support to West African Customs administrations in the area of stakeholder engagement, resource mobilization and human resources management. The project is currently in the full implementation phase, providing specifically tailored support to Members to achieve progress in these areas of development.

This successful mission is, yet, another embodiment of the WACAM Project’s commitment to support the modernization efforts of Member administrations in West Africa.

For more information or queries, please contact the WCO WACAM Project Manager, Mr. Richard Chopra (Richard.chopra@wcoomd.org).