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4th meeting of the WCA contact points-Bissau Oct 2013

23 octubre 2013

4th meeting of the Capacity Building contact points for the West and Central Africa region in Guinea-Bissau

From 23 to 25 October 2013, the contact points of 16 Customs administrations, the Vice Chair, the Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB ), the Regional Training Centers (RTC), the Regional Intelligence Liaison Offices (RILOs) and the Regional Development Manager of the WCO Secretariat of the West and Central Africa region met for their fourth meeting in Bissau, capital of Guinea-Bissau.

This meeting, organized jointly by the ROCB and the Customs of Guinea-Bissau has enabled participants to take stock of progress and activities conducted in the region since the last meeting in Monrovia (Liberia) in October 2012.

In this regard, the meeting witnessed the following steps forward:

  • Accession to the Revised Kyoto Convention of Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire and Gabon;
  • Adherence to the Harmonized System Convention of Guinea-Bissau and Sao Tome & Principe;
  • The significant progress of the 'West Africa Customs Administration Modernization project’ (WACAM) funded by Sweden, which supports the Customs administrations in the ECOWAS area in terms of human resource development, resource mobilization and development of partnerships with stakeholders;
  • The arrival of the first query in the region to support Phase 3 of the Columbus program (from Senegal);
  • The adoption by Directors General of WCA Customs Administrations alongside the Council in 2013 of the "Declaration of Niamey ' on interventions of inspection companies and the efforts of the Secretariat to coordinate and harmonize approaches in this area, particularly between the WCO, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the African Union (AU), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The meeting also allowed the participants to familiarize themselves more with the Regional Strategic Plan 2013-2017, particularly with the evaluation process which will now be initiated and managed on a regular basis by the ROCB based on an annual roadmap and led by reform teams of the WCA Customs administrations.

Regional structures have seized the opportunity to present the developments at their level. In this context, the RTCs presented their initiatives to create a pool of trainers and training-related experts and the RILOs stressed once again the importance of the use of the Customs Enforcement Network (CEN).

Customs administrations presented the following topics:

  • Cameroon : their Managerial Excellence Award 2012 in the category of maximizing the collection of state revenues;
  • Guinea-Bissau: their consolidated multi-year reform plan;
  • Nigeria: their approach to Customs Leadership and Management Development;
  • Senegal: their paperless Customs initiative.

The WCO, the regional structures and the contact points of the WCA Customs administrations would like to thank the Government and the Customs administration of Guinea-Bissau for the warm hospitality and the excellent organization of this meeting.