The WCO-Finland ESA Capacity Building Project concludes as a New Project to Progress the Trade Facilitation Agenda in ESA region is welcomed

31 March 2016

The 9th and the last Steering Committee (SC) Meeting of the Finnish-funded WCO Project "Building Trade Capacity through Customs Modernization in the East and Southern Africa (ESA) Region" took place in Kuusamo, Finland from 14th to 16th of March 2016. The meeting was attended by the following members: Malawi, South Africa, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Angola, Uganda, the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Finnish Customs, the WCO and the ROCB ESA as an observer.

The Project started in October 2011 and focused on the 5 key Project components in support of the WCO ESA Region: Leadership and Management Development, nCEN implementation and use, Coordinated Border Management and Single Window, support to the ESA ROCB and country-specific support for Namibia.

The Meeting welcomed the progress made in all Project components in the Region since 2011 which benefitted 21 ESA Members and took note of the preliminary findings on the Evaluation and Monitoring exercise carried out in January-February 2016. The Commissioners of Uganda Revenue Authority and Namibian Customs and Excise and the Director of Mauritius Customs presented the achievements made with the support of the Project in the areas of Leadership and management, Risk Management through the implementation of National Customs Enforcement Network, Single Window, Integrity and Strategic Organization Design. The meeting was also presented the good results of the CBM activities in four assisted countries.

The SC was presented with a new Project Document "To Progress the Trade Facilitation (TF) agenda, within the framework of the WCO Mercator Programme in the East and Southern Africa Region 2016 – 2019", as approved by the Steering Committee in June 2015 and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland in December 2015. The new project will be presented at the Regional Governing Council to be held in May 2016 and official launch will take place at the WCO Council Session during 14 -16 July 2016.

For further information please contact the ESA Regional Development Manager, Mr. Patrick Gyan (, or the Deputy Director for the Capacity Building Directorate, Ms. Brenda Mundia (