Successful Conclusion of the World Bank-funded Customs Capacity Enhancement in Sub Saharan Africa Project

31 October 2014

On October 21 – 23, 2014, the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the South African Revenue Service (SARS) co-organized and hosted the closing workshop for the training and e-learning component of the Customs Capacity Enhancement in Sub Saharan African project, which has been made possible through a grant of €2,200,000 from the World Bank’s Trade Facilitation Facility (TFF). This innovative partnership between the WCO and the World Bank, which began in July 2012, has allowed for a significant expansion of the WCO’s capacity building efforts aimed at supporting organizational development through investments in people. The co-organizers were pleased to welcome delegations from the project’s key beneficiaries, including Burundi, Cameroon, Gabon, Mali, Mauritania, Rwanda, Seychelles, Swaziland and Uganda. SARS and the WCO were honored to have a representative of the World Bank join in the proceedings.

The workshop was the platform to officially launch the newest additions to the WCO’s e-learning suite and to share experiences and best practices in the development of the unique competencies required in modernized Customs. SARS provided the delegations with a demonstration of its sustainable and successful approach to e-learning, including a wide range of locally-developed content. The WCO’s new e-learning courses on the Revised Kyoto Convention, Post-Clearance Audit, Risk Management and Coordinated Border Management were a highlight of presentations and discussions. Taken together, these courses include 45 individual learning modules, providing more than 100 hours of e-learning on critical Customs modernization topics which can be used in stand-alone format or as part of an innovative blended learning approach.

The World Bank Sub-Saharan Africa project’s efforts at modernizing training the nine participating administrations have the potential to improve training and career development opportunities for more than 5000 Customs officers. At the conclusion of the event, delegates endorsed the Pretoria Statement, which highlights the participants’ collective vision of the way forward and makes a call for further cooperation between the WCO and the World Bank on the basis of this project’s achievements.