The Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF) has stressed its commitment in adhering to the highest standards among its members in line with changing attitudes within the industry.
The president of the association, Joseph Agbanga, who made this known, explained that, freight forwarders in the country needed to subscribe to a common standard of professional competence and conduct acceptable internationally, saying, “This can only be achieved through serious education”.
He was speaking at the 19th annual general meeting of the association which sought to discuss how best GIFF could contribute towards the implementation of its core mandate and principles.
It was on the theme, “Increasing Ghana’s participation in international trade through capacity building of the freight forwarding sector.”
Mr. Agbanga noted that GIFF had established an educational programme to build the capacity of its members in ensuring professional competence at all levels in the freight forwarding sector.
“GIFF as the registered professional body for Ghanaian freight forwarders now provides a career for freight forwarding professionals locally by offering certificate and diploma courses in freight forwarding as well as a higher diploma in supply chain management” he added.
The institute, he said, had now grown into one of the country’s largest organisations as it employs over 20,000 people, saying, “We have done it with a succession of strong leaders, good people, and preparedness to undertake from time to time, bold growth initiatives”.
He further said that the GIFF academy had also been established and indicated that plans were under way to secure accreditation from the National Accreditation Board (NAB) as a tertiary institution.
“It is anticipated that by the beginning of next year the GIFF Academy will be in the position to offer a first degree programme in freight forwarding,” he said.
Mr. Agbanga appealed to the government to allocate resources for the development of Ghana’s international trade sector of which, he said, the freight forwarding industry plays a key role in its effectiveness.
“A well resourced freight forwarding sector is invaluable to the sector as was recently demonstrated when GIFF ICT laboratories were extensively used for training during the start of the National Single Window implementation programme,” he indicated.
In an address, the Vice President of FIATA, Robert Kutin who was the chairman for the event, noted that international trade was crucial for national socio-economic development of the country.
He, therefore, underscored the need for the government to create an enabling atmosphere for the development of the freight forwarding sector.
He urged members of GIFF to strive in developing the capacity of its members through continous education and training in order for them to effectively discharge their duties effectively.
The Central Regional Minister, Aquinas Tawiah Quansah, in an address, expressed the govern-ment’s commitment in working to improve and expand the Tema and Takoradi ports as well as the upgrading of the Tamale and Kumasi airports to facilitate the transportation of goods and services.
He also reiterated the need for GIFF to work towards building the capacity of its members to make them more proactive in the sector.
He urged members of the institute to maintain discipline at all times in the discharge of their duties and also support members to attain the highest point in the society.
He urged the participants at the meeting to participate actively in coming out with policies that would help strengthen activities of GIFF.
From David O. Yarboi-Tetteh, Cape Coast