Sunday, December 15, 2013

Ngwenya urges change of mindset for Africa
By Stuart Lisulo
Fri 25 Oct. 2013, 14:00 CAT

A CHANGE of mind-set is needed if Africa is to claim the 21st century, says Sindiso Ngwenya.

Speaking at the launch of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) electronic market exchange system (CEMES) in Lusaka yesterday, Ngwenya who is COMESA secretary general said old practices of trade and commerce would not take the continent anywhere as Africa was part of the modern economy.

In pointing out some of the advantages of the newly-launched system, Ngwenya said revenue authorities would under this system calculate in advance how much revenue would be made from customs duties.

I know those who are in the freight-forwarding business think that they will make money by sitting at the border posts to do the documentation; we shall have a paper-less system so that transit is paper-less, pre-clearance is done because you would have the assurance that the goods are coming and certified by the customs authority in the originating country, he said.

He observed that business models for truckers and freight-forwarders have got to change.

CEMES is COMESA's initiative to develop a fully-fledged e-business solution in the COMESA region and beyond.

The main objective of the project is to bring over 400 million people to a new COMESA 'virtual market' to help residents of member states and the rest of the world to buy, sell, market, insure, deliver and receive products and services wherever they are in real time at a lower cost and contribute to poverty reduction.

The system, which works similarly to Amazon.com and other online payment facilities, will be able to bring manufacturers, wholesalers, those providing logistics services, a payment facility through online and mobile banking, to enhance transparency, efficiency, accountability and security together with increasing revenues for respective revenue authorities.

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