WCO holds Leadership and Management Development Workshop for female Managers in Ethiopia

10 April 2013

The first ever Leadership and Management Development (LMD) Workshop exclusively devoted to female managers was conducted by the World Customs Organization (WCO) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 19-29 March 2013. The workshop was delivered to 16 mid-level managers from various areas of the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA), and was facilitated by one expert from the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration and one colleague from the WCO Secretariat.

The workshop was part of the activities that ERCA undertakes under its tripartite agreement with the WCO and Dutch Customs. It demonstrated once again ERCA’s continued commitment to strengthen the overall LMD capacities of the organization as well as the fact that the Ethiopian government and ERCA are making significant efforts to put gender equity and development of women very high on their agendas. Currently around 48% of the total ERCA staff are female employees, and in 2012 among the newly-recruited staff women accounted for 64%. However, the Administration is facing an important challenge in enhancing female employees’ leadership capacities in support of their further promotion to top and senior level management positions.

Throughout the event, participants were able to learn and openly exchange views and experience on a wide range of topics related to strategic management and leadership, including visioning, communications, negotiations, the promotion of integrity in the workplace, people management, and change management. Participants were given the opportunity to deeper explore their management style through a number of interactive role plays and exercises. In an effort to strengthen their leadership qualities, the workshop also aimed at developing personal skills and self-awareness of participants.

The participants expressed great satisfaction with the workshop and acknowledged that the interactive and practical approach was very conducive to learning. They also committed to disseminate the skills and knowledge gained to their fellow colleagues and to promote them widely at the workplace. While recognizing that skills and technical knowledge are essential to their work, many participants highlighted the importance to also develop their emotional intelligence through greater self-awareness.

Realizing the significance of Leadership and Management Development, the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA) expressed its gratitude to the WCO for its ongoing support as well as its hope to continue working together in developing a sustainable approach to training managers including female managers on a larger scale within the administration.

Members interested in further information on the WCO Leadership and Management Development Programme are invited to contact the WCO Secretariat under capacity.building@wcoomd.org.