The 3rd Steering Committee Meeting of the WCO-ESA Project II

15 February 2018

The 3rd Steering Committee (SC) Meeting of WCO ESA Project II took place from 5 – 7 February 2018 in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and was hosted by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA). The WCO-ESA Project II, “To progress the Trade Facilitation (TF) agenda within the framework of the WCO Mercator Programme in the East and Southern Africa Region, 2016 - 2019” is funded by the Finnish Government.  The Meeting was chaired by Mr. Dicksons Kateshumbwa (ESA Vice-Chair and Commissioner of URA) and attended by SC members from Uganda, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Finnish Customs, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, and the WCO Secretariat. The ESA ROCB attended as an observer.

The Steering Committee was presented the Mid-year Progress Report and Project Performance for 1.7.2017 – 31.1.2018.  A draft narrative report was shared and discussed within the SC members including detailed information on the activities carried out from 1.7.2017 – 31.1.2018 and further planning through  the end of the financial year 2018 (30.6.2018).  It was noted that the WCO has received 52 requests for support from eleven (11) ESA countries in the areas of risk management, implementation of the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC), Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), Authorised Economic Operator (AEO), Single Window (SW), Human Resource Management and the Regional Training Centers (RTC).

As of January 2018, ten (10) countries have benefitted from the Programme activities:  six (6) of them under the WCO Mercator Programme (23 activities).   Activities were also carried out in French (Mauritius RTC, Burundi and Comoros), in Portuguese (Angola and Mozambique) and in Amharic (Ethiopia) speaking countries.  The SC acknowledged the process involved to complete the missions and appreciated the work carried out to date. It also approved future planning activities and the revised budget but highlighted the need to carry out activities as planned and to minimise delays. All counterparts were urged to ensure the continuity and sustainability of the project.

Lastly, the SC expressed its gratitude to ZIMRA for organising the event and the Finnish Government for continued funding in the ESA region.

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