GCNet successfully championed the provision of automated services for trade facilitation and development, and introduced enhanced revenue mobilisation systems and structures. Many of its transaction-enhancing systems and structures include the smart end to end Customs Management Systems; the Single Window for trading; and e-Tax for domestic taxation for Ghana Revenue Authority (Customs Division and Domestic Tax Division), thus keeping GCNet at the forefront of innovation in the provision of e-Solutions to Government.

These innovative e-solutions significantly contributed to Ghana having one of the most advanced tax and business regimes in Africa.

GCNet, Propelled By Innovation, Designed For Growth

For close on to two decades, GCNet’s innovative e-solutions facilitated the processing and mobilising of revenue, as well as the network and enhancement of connectivity of operations for various bodies including all Ministries, Agencies and Departments (MDAs). GCNet had about 270 highly capable and efficient workforce operating five data centres across Ghana, to keep it in the forefront of providing e-Solutions to Government. The GCNet culture of continuous business improvement propelled us to invest in the latest IBM Analytics tools and to upgrade from GCMS II to III, to keep up with today’s fast and ever changing technological space.

Efficient Teamwork, Enhanced Customer Service

The passionate efforts of dedicated team members made GCNet what it is until its exit. The exhibition of unflinching commitment to continuous improvement on a daily basis through the quality delivery of GCNet’s innovative services. The online and on-field client support, one-on-one interactions, and timely responses to customer concerns aligned with GCNet’s high operational standards to provide customers with an exceptional service experience service on all fronts.

Extended Reach, Effecting Change Recognized

GCNet’s focus on development, growth and efficiency goes beyond its team and systems. Over the years, GCNet led the course to build capacity across multiple layers of Government Institutions and MDAs. GCNet’s coverage in the clearance process extended to all the 110 Customs sites across the 16 regions in the country, the 2 seaports (Tema & Takoradi), KIA and all border posts, facilitating an end-to-end paperless regime.

It is worthy to note that about 97% of international trade transactions were processed through GCNet systems.

This means that more than 500,000 import declarations per year were processed with more than 7200 active players in the trading community connected to its systems daily.

Leading The Pace For Continued Growth And Stability

To keep pace, and to stay ahead of the curve, GCNet invested in its operations and infrastructure. The continuous investment in ICT infrastructure, hardware and software, was the backbone of GCNet’s unparalleled ability to leverage technology to automate processes and increase revenue for the nation’s advancement.

GCNet invested on average, more than $6m annually in its operations, with nationwide coverage supported by up-to-date infrastructure. To date GCNet invested more than $90m in system and infrastructure upgrades to ensure its data integrity, business continuity and security in the trade facilitation and revenue mobilization ecosystem. Consequently, GCNet systems were stable, reliable and secure, to meet the highest local and international operating standards.

GCNet, Driving Efficiency And Growth

GCNet’s up-time system availability was always at 99.5% for all the various applications deployed (GCMS, GICCS, e-MDA, PIII Messaging, etc.), a notable achievement comparable to international standards. The role of GCNet had a positive impact on the overall clearance and turnaround time, reducing cost of clearance and also improving business competitiveness in the country.

There was a lot more to be done in the digitisation agenda in Ghana and so GCNet continued to diversify its range of product offerings by putting its technological capability to new areas.

The impact of the continuous investment showed in the significant increase in the customs tax revenue mobilization realised: from GHS13.1bn in 2016, to GHS15.3bn (exclusive of Petroleum Tax) in 2017, and GHS 16.3bn collected in 2018. The domestic tax revenue collection processed through tripsTM also shot up to GHS 20.23 bn in 2018 from GHS 15.7 bn in 2017, with c2016 collections standing at GHS 12bn; and about GHS 23 bn processed through tripsTM in 2019.

Through the deployment of the GCNet e-Registrar, the Registrar Generals’ Department (RGD) has seen substantial improvements in turnaround time for business registrations, revenue, and online transactions. In 2017 it generated some GHS 65.5m, GHS 92m in 2018, and GHS 136m in 2019.

Recognised Standards, Acknowledged Leadership

GCNet was recognized for its leadership and pioneering role in the digitisation journey of the country. Some of the awards it received include recognition from the World Bank, World Customs Organisations, Company of the Year, Trade Facilitation Organisation of the Year (2016, 2017 & 2018), Best e-Solutions Provider for the Public Sector (2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018), Best ICT Company in Ghana, Best Digital Innovative Finance Product (Letter of Commitment – LOC) and Public Sector ICT Provider of the Year, among others. In addition to this and for 2 consecutive years, GCNet was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana (CIMG) as the Telecom Company of the Year – Allied & Support Services, for the year 2017 and 2018 respectively.

GCNet Innovation Through Integration – The Game Changer – Across Platforms & Borders

As a technical partner and service provider to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) – Customs Division, the integration of systems, and all key actors in the trade facilitation ecosystem including MDAs, Terminal operators, Shipping Lines, Agents, Financial Institutions, facilitating electronic payments of duties, taxes and levies on imported goods etc. onto a single platform (Single Window Platform), was facilitated and made possible by GCNet, to enhance user experience through a seamless, smart end- to-end clearance chain, to ensure efficiency, transparency and security.

GCNet was an integral partner in the Meridian Ports Services (MPS) expansion at Terminal 3, the Ghana Port & Harbours Authority through the e-Delivery Order and Container Positioning modules, as well as e-payment platforms, for the payment of duties and taxes that interface with other e-payment platforms like e-Zwich and e-Tranzact.

GCNet was also at the forefront of facilitating the integration of processes and systems between the Burkina Faso Customs, and Ghana Customs, having facilitated a similar transit data exchange programme between the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA,) and its Ivorian counterpart to boost the business competitiveness of the two countries.

GCNet deployed a facility to issue e-Certificates of Origin for Ghanaian exports among others, and integrated these with other competitor platforms: Integration with the Terminal Operators, Shipping Lines and Freight Forwarders, for the management and distribution of Manifest to third parties (i.e. Port and Shipping Authorities).

Cyber Security

GCNet is a key business player in the cyber security space through its Cyber Security Division. As a key partner in Ghana’s digital economy, GCNet is committed to providing the required support to prop up cyber security endeavours at the national, sectoral, as well as individual/personal level, to ensure stability and security of eGovernment and trade facilitation solutions.

e-Health

As a change maker and leader in the continuous pursuit of progress and innovation, GCNet has partnered with the Ghana Health Services (GHS), HZI and GIZ, and is deploying three new, different but linked set of e-health applications to enhance healthcare services in the country through Surveillance

The e-health applications are: The electronic Health Management Information Systems module (eHMIS). This system automatizes Preventive Health Care Services and can be used by Employers, Insurers and Health Care Providers; as well as end users of the service.

There is the Surveillance Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System (SORMAS), which is an outbreak management e- tool, and a data driven eHealth tool based on flexible mobile telephone application. The third, is the e-Health Single Window Information Management

Platform, an integrated Single Window Health Management System (akin to the TradeNet Single Window), that connects all players in the health sector including doctors, health institutions, pharmacies, laboratories among others, to formalise a paperless regime in the health industry, and to establish electronic health records for the users of the health services.

This timely partnership with the Ghana Health Services (GHS), HZI and GIZ will enhance better healthcare in the country, through the provision of a Surveillance Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System (SORMAS-open), which is an early disease detection and control e-application that fully suits the needs of the Ghanaian Disease Surveillance ecosystem.

The deployment of the Surveillance Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System (SORMAS-open) is currently being used for the COVID 19 pandemic in Ghana; GCNet provides the hardware (mobile devices and servers), deploys, maintains and hosts the services for the product, in line with its commitment to partner Government enhance our national capacity to control diseases in strict observation of the International Health Regulations (2005) through the use of technology

Transformative Innovation, The Bedrock Of Our Future.

GCNet led the pack and continues to set the path for the future through its cutting edge technology, innovative drive and pioneering leadership. The legacies of end-end systems are here to stay, and long may they lead us all into a brighter, smarter, more prosperous future as we draw the curtain on an illustrious chapter.

By : Kojo Kumah.