A two-month Chinese language proficiency training course for custom officers at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) has ended in Accra on Thursday.
The programme supervised by the Confucius Institute of the University of Ghana, saw over 120 custom officers graduating with proficiency in the Chinese language.
The course was aimed at ensuring that customs officers at the KIA were able to communicate effectively with Chinese visitors since Ghana has become a regular destination for the Chinese.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the programme, Assistant Commissioner, Habib Osman said the initiative was very laudable as it would help the custom officers perform their duties efficiently.
“Customs constantly come across people of diverse backgrounds who patronise our dear country for various reasons and we need to understand and interact well with our clients to ensure effective communication and coexistence,” he stated.
He added that, “China is the global economic force whose trade with Ghana and that of the world has tremendously improved over the years”.
For that reason he said, Customs need to enhance their work at the airport by providing and sponsoring a well-structured Chinese language proficiency course for easy interaction with the Chinese.
He called for a continuous collaboration with the Chinese to develop various sectors of Ghana’s economy including trade, tourism and culture.
Chief Revenue Officer at KIA, Mr John Acquah congratulated the officers for successfully completing the course and expressing themselves well in the Chinese language.
“We are hoping that more of such courses would be organised in different foreign languages to benefit our officers in Tema and other parts of the country,” he stated.
“Our Chinese community is growing and we are doing more business with them. And more people including professionals, business people and visitors so we need to equip our officers to be able to communicate with them very well and educate them on the opportunities available,” he added.
In a long term he said, the move would help facilitate trade and as officers would be able to explain tax policies to the Chinese, who are major investors, in order to be tax compliant.
“We could be able to educate them on their tax responsibilities and ensure they comply adequately,” he stressed.
Participants were presented with certificates and urged to use the proficiency in the Chinese language to improve upon communication and other activities with the Chinese.
BY MICHAEL D.ABAYATEYE