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Sunday, March 3, 2024

GRA’s digital transformation a game-changer

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The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) has continued to record commendable progress with its digital transformation projects which has helped the authority record an unprecedented D1.5 billion collection in a single month. The launching of the Asycuda World system in 2022 and the Single Window as part of GRA’s ongoing digitalisation process, has propelled the authority’s ability to collect more taxes and block most of the leakages in its systems.

Asycuda World was launched to boost revenue collection, improve procedures in customs administration, facilitate trade by shortening the turnaround time and clearance of goods, promote inter-agency, national and regional cooperation and support the provisions of trade statistics for decision making.

According to Commissioner General Yankuba Darboe, the introduction of the system has been a blessing for his authority especially in the areas of efficiency and effectiveness in customs clearance processes.

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In another unprecedented development set to redefine international trade operations in The Gambia, the Gambia National Single Window (GNSW) launched the E-Tracking System in October.

It is designed to revolutionise cargo tracking and enhance operational efficiency within the country’s borders. The E-Tracking System is a state-of-the-art technology that will enable the real-time monitoring and tracking of cargo as it moves within the country. This system is especially significant when Customs duty and taxes are suspended, providing a clear and transparent way to monitor cargo in transit.

The system also promotes transparency in cargo movement, reducing the likelihood of potential illicit activities and ensuring adherence to the law; optimises cargo monitoring, streamlines trade operations and minimises delays, ultimately benefitting the entire trade community. It facilitates adherence to Customs regulations and simplifies the reporting process, and ensures cargo security measures are integrated to safeguard movement of cargo and reduce risks.

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CG Darboe said the authority is committed to continue its digital transformation agenda.

In March, GRA collected over D1.5 billion revenue, the highest collection managed by the authority in a month in the country’s history.

The record-breaking collection was associated with the authority’s migration to digital technology, notably, the Asycuda World. The progress made by the authority was demonstrated during the countrywide tour of the GRA top brass. Almost all the border posts they visited reported an increase in revenue collections owing to the digital transformation drive.

The Jarra Soma Customs Post Manager, Sanjally Kanuteh, informed the visiting members of the GRA board of directors and top management that his post has done tremendously well in 2023 which resulted in collecting D1.3 million more than what they were tasked to collect.

Manager Kanuteh spoke at length on the significance of the launching of the digital Single Window project which he said greatly facilitated cross-border trade among others.

CG Darboe said the idea of digitalising GRA’s revenue collection system has been central in “our previous and current corporate strategic plans”.

The progress made by GRA has not gone unnoticed around the world and the region. Several Customs authorities in Africa have visited the authority on study tours.

Commissioner General Darboe said the authority will continue to initiate new digital transformation projects to ensure its continuation to meet its revenue targets which are increasing every year.

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