ECOWAS Commission Customs Directorate reiterates its support for the WCO WACAM Project

16 July 2013

On 03 July 2013, the WCO hosted a delegation from the ECOWAS Commission Customs Directorate, headed by its Acting Director Mr. Salifou Tiemtore, in the framework of discussions related to the WCO West African Customs Administrations Modernization (WACAM) project. The WACAM project, financed by the Swedish International Development cooperation Agency (Sida), aims to contribute to ongoing modernization efforts of Customs administrations in West Africa in key strategic management priority areas such as Human Resource Management and Stakeholder Engagement.

During the joint meeting, Mr. Tiemtore and his two associates reiterated the ECOWAS Commission Customs Directorate support for the WACAM project and its importance for the region as it clearly contributes to the ECOWAS Commission’s endeavors to promote and facilitate regional integration. The co-operation related to the WACAM project is a successful example of the aims of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was signed between the ECOWAS Commission and the WCO in February 2011.

The ECOWAS Commission has endorsed the WACAM project since its start. Two ECOWAS Commission representatives currently sit on the WACAM Steering Committee and provide valuable guidance. Furthermore, in October 2012, one of the ECOWAS Commission representatives attended the WACAM regional workshop on Resource Mobilization held in Abuja, Nigeria. Through the WACAM Project, colleagues of the WCO Secretariat and the ECOWAS Commission, esp. its Customs Directorate, have established a strong working relationship which contributes to filling the MoU with life.

During the joint meeting, Mr. Kieck, Director of the WCO Capacity-Building Directorate, congratulated the ECOWAS delegation on the recent positive development regarding the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET) and expressed the WCO's gratitude for the support from ECOWAS side and the hope to continue and further strengthen the collaboration with the ECOWAS Commission.

Next steps within the WACAM project that were also discussed at the meeting include the involvement of ECOWAS representatives to future sub-regional and national Capacity Building events. Further information can be obtained from Mr Richard Chopra (Richard.Chopra@wcoomd.org), WCO WACAM project manager.