At the invitation of Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, CEO of the NEPAD Agency, WCO Deputy Secretary General Sergio Mujica attended the launch of the MoveAfrica Initiative - Moving Goods & Facilitating Trade, held in Kigali, Rwanda, on 11 and 12 May 2016. This Initiative, which was developed in close partnership with the private sector, aims to package and mainstream soft infrastructure issues to reduce transport costs along corridors and promote a multi-sectorial and comprehensive approach for corridor development.
The launch was attended by senior executives and industry leaders from the private sector and senior officials from the public sector, including several international organizations. In his opening remarks, Dr. Mayaki explained the content of the Initiative and highlighted the importance of driving down costs and increasing efficiency for logistics companies and manufacturers in a range of industries, which should be a combined effort between the private and public sectors. Subsequently, H.E. Mrs. Fatima Haram Acyl, African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry, stressed the importance of fully implementing the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), this to be achieved through close cooperation between Customs and Trade authorities as well as the private sector. She also explained the efforts being made to advance with the negotiation of the Continental Free Trade Area, which would further enhance trade facilitation in Africa.
The WCO Deputy Secretary General participated in a high-level panel, alongside senior officials from international organizations such as UNCTAD, the WTO and the International Trade Centre, as well as the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and various industry leaders in Africa. In his intervention, Mr. Mujica highlighted the main WCO programmes and projects aimed at supporting trade facilitation initiatives, including the Mercator Programme, as well as the key role of Customs in order to achieve consistent and effective implementation of the TFA.
During his visit to Kigali, Mr. Mujica also held working meetings with Mr. Richard Tusabe, Commissioner General of the Rwanda Revenue Authority and Mr. Raphael Tugirumuremyi, Commissioner of Customs, and other senior officers of the management team of Rwanda Customs. The main topics discussed were the latest developments in respect of the WCO Strategic Plan which will be presented to the next Council Sessions, and the key role of Customs to support the implementation of the TFA, as well as the strategic projects Rwanda is working on at national and regional level to further enhance trade facilitation, such as transit corridors, Single Window and Authorized Economic Operator.
1) WCO Deputy Secretary General at the launch of the MoveAfrica Initiative participated in a high-level panel, alongside senior officials from UNCTAD, the WTO and the International Trade Centre, as well as the JICA, and various industry leaders in Africa;
2) Mr. Mujica held working meetings with Mr. Richard Tusabe, Commissioner General of the Rwanda Revenue Authority (right) and Mr. Raphael Tugirumuremyi, Commissioner of Customs (left).