WCO Represents the Customs Community at the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI)

29 August 2016

TICAD VI, held on 27-28 August 2016 at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi Kenya, was hosted for the first time on African soil. The event was co-organized by Japan, the African Union UN and World Bank. It was attended by Japan and African Head of States and Ministers as well as leaders of International Organizations and the Private Sector. 

Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya was invited to participate in high level discussions on “promoting social stability for shared prosperity”. The discussions focused on three pressing issues faced by the African continent, namely: “Promoting social stability thorough creating inclusive and sustainable livelihood”, “Effectively addressing climate change for shared prosperity”; and “Sustaining peace through reinforcing good governance with strong institutions”.

In response to these discussions Dr. Mikuriya highlighted the WCO’s support in modernizing Customs and border procedures to improve business climate and promoting trade, including the importance of border security as part of economic competitiveness. He reiterates that without security at borders it is difficult to facilitate trade and secure state revenue.

Security is often compromised by challenges faced by Africa such as porous borders and informal trade. Terrorist and criminal organizations exploit this vulnerability, resulting amongst others in illicit trade and terrorist activities. It is for this reason that the WCO has launched a security program for Customs to enhance border security control of goods and people while facilitating their legitimate flow.

The program includes training for customs officers on data analysis, risk management, promoting intelligence sharing with other border agencies, use of technology and collaboration with business. Institution building including addressing integrity is another priority. In conclusion he called for continuous support, investing in Customs and border institutions in Africa under TICAD initiatives.

On 26 August, Secretary General Mikuriya also participated as a speaker in high-level discussions at a TICAD side event along with representatives of JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency), NEPAD (African Union’s New Partnership for Africa’s Development) EAC (East African Community) and the private sector at the Kenya Revenue Authority Auditorium. The main focus of the event was on boosting intra-African trade, regional economic integration and African competitiveness.

At this event the 2nd edition of the One Stop Border Post (OSBP) source book was launched and Dr. Mikuriya congratulated JICA and its respective partners on the OSBP source book to which the WCO contributed. He shared the WCO’s trade facilitation approach and the Mercator Programme and stressed the importance of partnership with business, coordinated border management and the use of technology.

Secretary General Mikuriya highlighted that transit connecting trade corridor is one of the areas beneficial for regional integration and the WCO’s Transit Handbook and developing guidelines for transit, are complimentary to the OSBP source book.

In response to the questions and comments from the floor, he stressed the importance of political commitment, investing in people and partnerships with the Regional Economic Communities, the Private Sector and other border agencies.



From left to right: Mr Symere Grey-Johnson head of RIITP, NEPAD Agency; Mr Peter Kiguta Director General, (Customs and Trade) EAC; Dr Kunio Mikuriya Secretary General, WCO; Mr Masaaki Kato, Senior Special adviser, JICA; and Mr Takashi Hattori, Senior Managing Director, Toyoto Tsusho Corporation