Secretary General's visit to Botswana

02 March 2009

Secretary General’s visit to Botswana

24-26 February 2009


Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya visited the Botswana Unified Revenue Service from 24 to 26 February 2009 to follow-up on its customs modernization programme. He also took this opportunity to meet political and business leaders in Botswana.

Botswana Customs has started a regular dialogue with its stakeholders since last year through its Customs-Business forum and coordination meetings with other border agencies, following the recommendations of the WCO Columbus diagnostic mission in 2006 and the strategic planning session in 2007. Its management team is now carefully studying the use of technology, including the information and non-intrusive inspection areas, while basing it on risk management, better cooperation and other WCO standards and recommendations. Commissioner General Freddy Modise explained that it would be necessary to enhance the engagement of the private sector to further reduce clearance times of border procedures. Mr. Mikuriya appreciated the on-going efforts of Botswana to modernize its customs administration and explored jointly with Commissioner of Customs, Ken Morris, the way forward to further develop customs capacity, including the conducting of a time release study, under the framework of the WCO regional approach.

Mr. Mikuriya had an opportunity to pay a courtesy call on the Minister of Finance & Development Planning as well as the Minister of Trade & Industry. Discussions with the ministers included the challenge of land-locked countries and possible ways to maximize the opportunity of regional economic integration through SACU (Southern African Customs Union) and SADC (Southern African Development Community). Both ministers appreciated the visit of the WCO and were also supportive of closer cooperation between the WCO and these regional entities.