First WCO ESA Regional Workshop on Resource Mobilization

28 mai 2014

Mombasa, 19 -23 May 2014

(Article kindly provided by Ms. Riitta Passi, Project Manager, Nairobi)

The WCO and the ESA Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB ESA), in cooperation with the Kenyan Revenue Authority, organized the first WCO ESA Regional Workshop on Resource Mobilization in Mombasa, Kenya from 19 to 23 May 2014. This workshop was one of the regional key activities in 2014 under the WCO-ESA Project ‘Building Trade Capacity through Customs Modernization in the East and Southern Africa" funded by the Finnish Government.

This workshop was also part of the ongoing efforts of the WCO and the ROCB ESA in supporting Customs Administrations to enhance engagement with development partners for their reform and modernization programmes. Previously, the WCO and the ROCB ESA had organized the first Regional Meeting on Donor Engagement in March 2012 in Mauritius, which provided Members in the ESA region with the opportunity to enhance their understanding of partnership with development partners. The workshop in Kenya was a follow-up on the event in 2012, enabling participating Members to address needs in the field of Resource Mobilization which are essential for subsequent Capacity Building / Customs Reform and Modernization processes at regional and national level. The workshop was facilitated by Ms. Heike Barczyk, WCO Deputy Director Capacity Building, Ms. Sigfridur Gunnlaugsdottir, WCO expert from Iceland Customs, and Ms. Riitta Passi, Project Manager within the Finnish-funded project.

A total of 25 participants from 17 ESA regional members took part in the workshop. Beyond familiarizing themselves with the international development cooperation context, its "language" and principles like results-based management and ownership of beneficiaries, participants during the five-day workshop very practically developed first draft business cases/project proposals that could in the future lead to potential real Capacity Building projects. Reflecting on the current Customs environment, the workshop equally addressed the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation (ATF), potential interest from development partners in supporting countries with its implementation and how to best reflect this in respective interaction with those partners including how to address the respective alignment in the different steps towards developing a written project proposal. The workshop was therefore very timely and is expected to further enhance the collaboration between Customs administrations and development partners for the successful implementation of Customs reform and modernization.

Reactions from workshop participants were very positive and included among others: "It has been a fantastic workshop and it really helps me very practically." "The link towards the ATF was very much helpful and will help us in how to go towards implementing the provisions overall." "The relevance of the workshop cannot be overemphasized." "I have learnt a lot and I really need to incorporate this knowledge in my day to day work."

The WCO, the ROCB ESA and participating Members agreed to continue to work together in this regard.