A pilot project, to help address the challenges in transporting goods across the West African sub-region was launched in Accra yesterday.
The CHEETTAH project is being implemented by Ujuizi Laboratories in collaboration with Borderless Alliance, both key stakeholders in the transportation industry.
CHEETAH, an acronym which stands for the Chains of Human Intelligence towards Efficiency and Equity in Agro –food Trade along the Trans – Africa highway involves the use of technology device which is aimed at tackling trade obstacles, post-harvest losses and poor road conditions.
The CHEETAH is a platform through which information would be shared by the road users, especially, commercial International truck drivers by collecting live information on a dynamic new smart device application as a person moves along the trade corridors within the West African sub-region.
Developed by Ujuizi Laboratories, CHEETAH is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs with support from Boarderless Alliance, Esoko, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Department of Horticulture, the International Fertiliser Development Centre (IFDC) among others.
Mr. Daniel Asare-Kyei, Ujuizi Country Representative and Managing Director of Esko explained the new project as a means of ensuring that goods and services were moved faster to prevent post–harvest losses, through numerous non-tariff barriers and poor road conditions.
He said the new concept focuses on the bottom–up approach by engaging stakeholders such as truck drivers, growers transporters and consumers to monitor numerous police checkpoints, bribes, long queues at border crossing and road maintenance among others.
He said there would be live interactions on the smart application device which would be given to the stakeholders while moving on the road to inform the users about other challenges ahead of them.
Mr. Asare–Kyei said with the proliferation of mobile telecommunication services and smart phones in Africa, it has created a viable platform for developing solutions that stimulate the participation of members of the public.
Mr. Ziad Hamoui, former president of Borderless Alliance, giving an overview of the pilot project said though there had been similar projects in the past like the CISAID backed Road Map on the same, CHEETAH was coming into the fray with technological advancement instead of the manual database collected by the Road Map Project.
He said CHEETAH was coming on board with an advantage of ensuring information flow on the phone application device while moving on the road.
Dr. Kofi Mbeah, Chief Executive of Ghana Maritime Authority, who chaired the function said some of the challenges has remained for decades, therefore it was high time to adopt technology to resolve them.
He said the pilot project should generate a report which should be carefully analysed to develop a full proof support system to make the project sustainable and make the West African hub competitive in the global market.
By Lawrence Markwei