The meeting on Technical Operation of the Generic ePhyto National System (GeNS) was held from 24-28 October 2016 at Pokuase, a suburb of Accra, Ghana. The meeting was facilitated by Mr Shane Sela, the IPPC ePhyo Project Manager, and supported with Mr Josiah Syanda, the member of the IPPC ePhyto Steering Group (ESG). The meeting was attended by Mr Ebenezer Aboagye, the Acting Director, and his project team from the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate (PPRSD) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture of Ghana.
The GeNS provides a simple web-based or stand-alone option for contracting parties to produce and receive electronic phytosanitary certificates. Development of the GeNS is key project of the IPPC advocated by CPM. Ghana has been proposed for piloting the GeNS component of the ePhyto Solution. The objectives of this meeting were to review the ePhyto Solution and to determine PPRSD’s preparedness for implementation of GeNS. The meeting discussed and started the work to develop a detailed country work plan outlining the steps leading to deployment of the system in Ghana and finalized their analysis of their current certification processes which would allow them to fully analyze the business process changes that are needed to implement the ePhyto Solution.
During the meeting, the project team of Ghana demonstrated that they were well prepared for implementation. The Ghana team has undertaken discussions with its information technology (IT) provider to identify some of the key infrastructure requirements for an IT system for tracking agricultural production in relation to phytosanitary certification. The infrastructure used in this system will also support the current deployment of the GeNS and potentially replace it in the future.
The meeting also discussed how the Ghana team undertakes stakeholder engagement to ensure that clients and relevant agencies such as Ghana Revenue Authority - Customs Division are ready for the implementation the ePhyto system. Ghana has developed a Customs Single Window System referred to as Ghana Community Network (GCNet) which facilitates the movement of trade information between brokers and Customs. The group discussed with the GCNet provider the option of transferring certification information from GeNS to GCNet to facilitate exports.
As matter of fact, the ESG and the IPPC Secretariat have completed similar workshops in Sri Lanka, Samoa and Ecuador.
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