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The East African : June 16th 2014
The EastAfrican 2 Special advertising section SINGLE WINDOW SYSTEM New system will not replace SIMBA or KWATOS FROM PREVIOUS PAGE How will KenTrade coordinate the many multiple Government agencies and the private sector stakeholders involved in trade facilitation? One of factors critical in implementation of the System is stakeholder’s involvement and investment in Change Management. We are in constant engagement with our stakeholders at every stage of System implementation. So far, we have received tremendous support and co-operation from our parent Ministry the National Treasury, Government Agencies like Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Ports Authority, and Kenya Bureau of Standards, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate among others. When it comes to automation, KRA has its own clearance System called SIMBA and KPA has its online System called KWATOS. So what difference does more automation and centralization make? Kenya TradeNet System will however not replace the SIMBA or KWATOS Systems but will integrate with the two Systems among others.It is not only KRA and KPA which are involved in cargo clearance. There are over 24 other Government Agencies/ departments involved in the import, export and transit cargo clearance processes in Kenya some of which have Systems and some of which have manual processes. Apart from integrating with these Systems, Kenya TradeNet System is an electronic platform which will serve as a single entry point for submission/approvals of cargo clearance documentation; the electronic platform will ensure that other government agencies operate efficiently by ensuring that information is shared instantly with all stakeholders involved in trade logistics. How will the Kenya TradeNet System work with regards to Hardware/Software and manpower? The Kenya TradeNet System ensures interoperability with the Systems of stakeholders involved in trade logistics in the country. Additionally, it is web based and is accessible 24/7. Traders are able to submit electronic documents from anywhere at any time as long as they have the relevant authorization in the System. The country will save a lot in manpower/man hours as there will be no need for submission and processing of hard copy documents which are labour intensive and expensive to process and prone to corruption once the System is fully operational. However, Kenya TradeNet System environment does not necessarily imply the implementation of high tech Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). How will payments be made under the Kenya TradeNet System? Currently Kenya TradeNet System has integrated with several banks and Mobile Payment providers (Safaricom & Airtel) via the KRA iTax System so that Business community is able to apply for permits and IDFs and make payments through their mobile phones or via any of the 24 banks integrated with the KRA iTax System. Efforts are under way to integrate the Kenya TradeNet System to the MANPOWER HOURS THE COUNTRY WILL SAVE A LOT IN MANPOWER/MAN HOURS AS THERE WILL BE NO NEED FOR SUBMISSION AND PROCESSING OF HARD COPY DOCUMENTS WHICH ARE LABOUR INTENSIVE AND EXPENSIVE TO PROCESS AND PRONE TO CORRUPTION ONCE THE SYSTEM IS FULLY OPERATIONAL JUNE 14-20, 2014 KenTrade chairman Gen Joseph Kibwana (Rt) welcomes Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and for Home Affairs, Masagos Zulkifli (left) during a luncheon in his honour at Crowne Plaza Hotel, Nairobi, on June 9, 2014. Looking on, (second right), is the CEO of KenTrade, Alex Kabuga; general manager operations Amos Wangora, and Solomon Raj of CrimsonLogic of Singapore Government Payments Gateway (GPG) being implemented by the Government of Kenya (GoK) under the leadership of the national Treasury. What are chances of manipulating Kenya TradeNet System? Chances of manipulating the System are very slim. Just like any other System KenTrade is putting in place robust security measures using the most current technologies available. KenTrade has put in place a team of competent technical staff working with others to ensure that the platform meets international security and integrity standards. What challenges have you faced in setting up of Kenya TradeNet System and how have you been able to address them? First, we wish to thank H.E. the President for the tremendous support and interest that he has shown in the Kenya TradeNet System Project since its commencement. Managing perceptions on the Kenya TradeNet Systemfrom both Public and private sector has not been very easy. There is always fear of change on new projects especially those of cross cutting nature like implementation of the Single Window. One of the challenges encountered was for our stakeholders to understand KenTrade’s mandate and specifically the role of the Kenya TradeNet Systemin supplementing Systems of other GoK agencies. This was overcome by carrying out a rigorous sensitisation and awareness campaign targeting both the public and private sector. The campaign was designed to address different focus groups and was carried out across the country in the counties of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Busia, Kericho, Uasin Gishu, Nakuru, Kiambu, Kilifi and Migori. These campaigns will be continued in other counties as the System stabilise. Apart from the sensitizations, we have engaged the stakeholders in the planning and implementation processes at all stages to ensure that they are part of the process. The Kenya TradeNet Systemhas been developed by Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) who will maintain it for 3 years. What are the safeguards for a smooth hand over in terms of technical and maintenance skills transfers? The process of implementation of the System began in May 2012 when the Cabinet gave approval for consultancy, acquisition, and implementation of the National Electronic Kenya TradeNet System from Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) through a Government to Government (G2G) arrangement between GOK and the Government of Singapore. The System in Kenya is operated by KenTrade. SCE (CrimsonLogic) will provide System support over the three year period during which time there will be knowledge transfer to KenTrade personnel who will take over the maintenance of the System. The plan is to have CrimsonLogic train and build capacity for KenTrade to be able to fully operate and maintain System after this period. What savings will be realized as a result of full implementation of the Kenya TradeNet System? The Kenya TradeNet System is not a new concept. It is operational countries such as Singapore, Korea, Malaysia, Mauritius, Tunisia and Ghana to mention but a few. Studies from these countries indicate large savings to the economies realized via; Reduced trade transaction costs; Reduced delays; Reduced In efficiency; Eradication of corruption in trade logistics; Reduced manual document/ paper work; Reduced cost of capital (JIT Concept; Reduced demurrage; Improved space utilization at ports-Increased capacity utilization for higher volume turnover. In Kenya the streamlined procedures towards faster clearance of goods across Kenyan borders is expected to bring an average reduction of 5 days in clearance of cargo at the seaport. Based on present volume of goods imported and transited through the country, it is estimated that the resulting yearly savings to the Kenyan economy during the first 3 years will range between US$ 150 million (approx Kshs.10.5 billion and US$ 250 million (approx Kshs. 17.5 billion) annually. This will increase to between US$ 300 million (approx. Kshs. 21 billion) and US$ 450 (approx. Kshs 31.5 billion) annually in subsequent years. In Singapore and Malaysia where the Kenya TradeNet System has been in operation for over 10 years, the savings to the economy are US$ 1 billion and US$ 500 respectively annually. In Ghana, there was a 35 per cent increment in Government revenues for three years consecutively after the roll out of the Kenya TradeNet System. What are the factors that you consider to be important for successful implementation of the Kenya TradeNet System? The implementation of the System is a challenging but fulfilling project. It entails proper strategic planning, effective use of information technologies, securing financial and human resources and indispensably, the more importantly political support. To ensure an effective deployment of a national Single Window, a significant amount of business process simplification and reengineering and information technology adoption are vital, together with the application of key international standards and a significant collaborative effort between the public sector and the private sector. KenTrade has been lucky because all the stakeholders have provided the support needed to ensure successful implementation of the System. Will the benefits of implementing the Kenya TradeNet System be realized immediately? The implementation of the Kenya TradeNet System is a gradual process and the benefits will also be gradual. But more importantly, Kenya TradeNet System concept is becoming a virtual national gateway to international trade. The more effective the role of the Single Window, the more efficient the complete import/export process becomes, leading to national competitiveness where the Government, traders and citizens benefit. Will the Implementation of the Kenya TradeNet System lead to job losses? No, Kenya TradeNet System will not lead to loss of jobs. The System will instead enable the business environment to trade efficiently. An improved business environment will most likely lead to reduced cost of doing business and increased efficiency in trade. This will lead to competitiveness in trade transactions and attract Foreign Direct Investment which will instead create more jobs. How is the Kenya TradeNet System Project being funded? The Project is funded by the Government of Kenya (GoK) with support from the Investment Climate Facility (ICF) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). We also have support from Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA).
June 9th 2014
June 23rd 2014