Around 700 delegates gathered to attend the opening of the 2016 WCO IT Conference & Exhibition (ITC), taking place from 1 to 3 June in Dakar, Senegal, co-hosted by the Customs Administration of Senegal. The 15th ITC is taking place for the first time in WCO’s West and Central Africa region where many new and forward-looking developments have been observed in the field of information technologies.
Digital Customs: Accelerating Connectivity – Bridging the Divide will be the guiding theme of the Conference which will discuss various strategic issues as part of ICT-enabled modernization efforts, such as leadership, communication, interconnectivity, innovation, governance and training.
On behalf of the President of the Republic of Senegal, Mr. Oumar Youm, the Chief of the Staff of Office of the President of the Republic, addressed the Conference. He stressed the importance of IT in managing government processes and the need to adapt to the ever-changing world. He also explained that in progressing automation, it was necessary to strike the right balance between trade facilitation and security.
The Director General of Senegal Customs Mr. Papa Ousmane Gueye stated that Digital Customs goes hand in hand with the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. Interconnectivity is pertinent for facilitating trade and the aim of his country is to bring it up in the Doing Business ranking and improve its competitiveness.
The Secretary General of the World Customs Organization Mr. Kunio Mikuriya emphasized Digital Customs as the theme of the Conference, and of the WCO for 2016. He stressed the importance of IT and data for Customs on a daily basis in monitoring the supply chains towards achieving its missions. He recalled that the IT Conference was an excellent opportunity for Customs and the private sector to engage and explore how best to use the advances in information technologies.
The WCO IT Conference and Exhibition is WCO’s premium external yearly event with a tradition, which attracts hundreds of participants from around the world. The aim of the Conference is to bring together representatives from the public and private sector to discuss strategic issues and IT solutions for the purpose of improving Customs and border procedures in general.