14th Meeting of Directors General of Customs of the West and Central Africa Region

20 April 2009

14th Meeting of Directors General of Customs of the West and Central Africa Region

Brazzaville (Congo), 16-17 April 2009


The Directors General of Customs of the West and Central Africa Region held their 14th annual Meeting in Brazzaville (Republic of the Congo) on 16 and 17 April 2009.

Mr. Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the WCO, travelled to Brazzaville to present the WCO’s priorities and means of implementing them, as well as to hear the views expressed by the Region’s Members on various important topics. The opening ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo and Directors General, or representatives thereof, of 18 of the Region’s Customs administrations.

The discussions focused on issues such as the action plan for the implementation of the Regional Strategic Plan, the impact of the financial crisis on Customs, Economic Partnership Agreements, capacity building, implementation of the Revised Kyoto Convention and other assorted topics. The participants also approved the actions to be taken in respect of each of the regional institutions, namely the Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB), the Regional Training Centre (RTC) and the two Regional Intelligence Liaison Offices (RILOs).

The Region also set the following four priority areas which will steer capacity building efforts over the period 2009-2011: implementation of WCO instruments; improvement of human resource management; strategic management; and integrity and good governance.

The Directors General decided to set up four Working Groups to make headway with these four priority areas and to hold twice-yearly Expert Committee meetings.

All the delegates expressed their sincere gratitude to the Congolese administration for the warm welcome extended to them. Mr. Jean-Alfred Onanga, Director General of Customs and Indirect Taxation (Republic of the Congo), was extremely pleased that this important regional event was being held in his country. Together with his counterpart in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mr. Deogracias Rugwiza Magera, he organized a boat trip across the Congo River to Kinshasa for all delegates. This goodwill visit took in the Customs offices as well as the city’s key historic sites.