Director visits Ethiopia

04 May 2009
Director visits Ethiopia


May 2009

From the 6-8th May 2009, the Director of Capacity Building, Mr. Lars Karlsson, visited Addis Abeba, Ethiopia for a Columbus programme high-level capacity building meeting with the Minister of Capacity Building, the Director General and senior officials from Ethiopian Customs to discuss the way forward on the Customs reform and modernization project under the Columbus programme. Ethiopia is one of the pilot countries under the Columbus programme.

During the visit, the Director was briefed and updated about the huge developments under the leadership of Director General, Mr. Melaku Fenta. The Ethiopian Government has showed a strong determination to continue the modernization process and Customs is now asking for continued cooperation with the WCO and other international institutions for the following steps forward.

Ethiopia has introduced a new agency, the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA), and this organization was created through a merger of Ethiopian Customs, the Inland Revenue and the Tax Agency. A major Business Process Re-Engineering phase has been completed and a new organizational structure has been introduced. In cooperation with the WCO, under the Columbus programme, a fundamental Human Resource development and training programme for management and customs officials will now be introduced to further develop the skills of new staff. In addition projects on ICT utilization and several other areas will also be implemented.

In a comment about the mission Lars Karlsson said; “This was a very positive mission to a country where Customs reform and modernization is high on the agenda. The results so far from the capacity building process are impressive and the plans for the following steps are developed in a comprehensive and solid way. I am convinced that we will continue to see strong improvements of the capacity of this organization also in the future”.