The Chief Commercial Officer, Samy Zayani of Webb Fontaine Group, a leading Trade technology company which is currently working with many Governments across the world with a large footprint in Africa said his company is pleased and proud to be the technology partner to Governments such as Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Ethiopia, Guinea and others.
In a dispatch, the Webb Fontaine Group official said his entity is proud to partner with some of the leading countries in terms of Trade and Customs operations across Africa and the results of the successful implementation of Webb Fontaine technology in order to really speaks for itself.
He noted that the debt created by Covid-19 has increased for Governments across the globe, meaning the need for increased revenues is more important than ever. We are helping Governments to do just this through the implementation of technology enabling Trade facilitation, optimal controls and in return tangible increase in revenues.
He explained that the objective of Webb Fontaine is to reshape the future of Trade through the latest technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and blockchain to empower Governments and communities, stressing, “Through this our partners are able to emerge as leaders in the future of Trade.”
“Take Nigeria as an example, one of our partners, throughout Covid-19 Government policies, procedures and platforms were put to the test. Nigeria has always placed huge importance on technology to optimise the Trade environment. This enabled them to not only continue collecting revenues throughout the Covid-19 crisis but to exceed targets, notably through the use of systems, such as the risk engine, powered by Artificial Intelligence,” the Webb Fontaine Group official explained.
He noted that the same can be seen for our partner Benin, Benin has, for a while, made major strides in digitalising exchanges between administrations (and not only Customs) and the public sector. This initially had a social and cultural impact in an environment where human contact is prevalent, but the Covid-19 pandemic reinforced the need for remote working, and was largely accepted by the business community. Although Customs are traditionally open to new procedures and techniques, the digitalised approach had to be strongly supported by Government policies across agencies. As a result, Benin managed successfully to fully maintain trade operations throughout the Covid-19 crisis.
On the effort being applied by his entity for African governments to be interested in his company, Samy Zayani said for his company, it is about creating the best solutions and technologies to help African Governments to realise their ambitious visions and achieve their objectives. Adding, “To support our mission, Webb Fontaine has created the largest R&D centers in the industry that are fully inhouse. This powers the development of our future proof technologies. For Africa, we are taking this one step further by the opening of an R&D centre in Africa itself. Through this, we will increase our R&D output even further and most importantly develop Trade technology in the region to benefit not only Africa but the rest of the world. We see so much talent in Africa and want to tap into this. This is something very unique” he told the GNN in a dispatch.
On the issue of his company’s technology being used across the world by many different Customs administration entities and governments, and the competitive advantage, he noted that “Our key competitive advantage lies in our technologies and solutions, our deep experience in trade reforms and our vertical integration. Webb Fontaine is in a position to smartly automate and integrate the different stages of the trade transaction. Our solution takes years’ worth of practical learning and expertise and brings this together with unique technologies such as AI and blockchain. This is the reason our partners are witnessing important results in revenue increase and in trade facilitation. What we are able to do and achieve with our partners together benefits not only the trade community but the entire country
When asked as to whether his company has created an ongoing relationship with African clients to ensure ongoing capacity building, he said “I should have mentioned “Transfer of knowledge” in my previous answer. Transfer of knowledge is at the heart of our philosophy and has become (not on purpose) a competitive advantage. Every Government we discuss with aims at achieving full autonomy and want to get trained on the latest technologies and on the best international practices. We therefore build strategic plans of transfer of knowledge and responsibilities with our partners, and we respect our commitments in this regard. This it enables Webb Fontaine to continue to build strong partnerships across the globe”.
Speaking about the benefits Liberia should expect from Webb Fontaine in relation to accelerating trade in this country, he said, “Liberia will see many benefits from the National Single Window project that Webb Fontaine has been awarded, such as:
- The stimulation of the Liberian economy with increased trade volumes
- Transparent, efficient and shorter trade processes will build greater investor confidence in Liberia
- Through optimised trade processes, increased revenues will positively impact the continued development of the country itself
- As a result, it should lead to increased Foreign Direct Investments (FDI)
The Liberia Government has an incredible vision for the country and we are proud to partner with them to be a part of the continued positive change.
As mentioned, Webb Fontaine was awarded a tender for the National Single Window (NSW). The Single Window platform will, among others, provide;
- The Import and Export process will be fully automated so that a trader can apply and get approvals online (no more physical move to the different administrations).
- The automation of trade processes of 16 agencies involved in trade supply chain in Liberia;
- Mobile solutions for traders to track the status of their transactions in real-time
- Dashboard designed for high officials of the Government, to ensure full visibility and statistics in the trade environment
This is just to name a few of the solutions we will bring to the country.
In addition to this Webb Fontaine will provide continuous training during the duration of the project to build adequate capacity among system users and managers.