WCO launches its Leadership and Management Development Programme

29 November 2011

WCO launches its Leadership and Management Development Programme

in South Africa

Pretoria, 31 October – 10 November 2011

In line with its continued efforts to build a modern Customs and tax administration, the South African Revenue Service welcomed the delivery of the WCO Leadership and Management Development workshop. The event was held in Pretoria from October 31 to November 10, 2011 and brought together a group of senior and middle-managers from various areas of the administration.

The workshop forms part of a broader approach to strengthen the leadership and management capacity of WCO member administrations. It was delivered as the first Capacity Building activity within the WCO ESA Project „Building Trade Capacity through Customs Modernization in the East and Southern Africa Region“, an initiative funded by the Government of Finland.

The event was lead by Mr. Daniel Perrier, WCO Secretariat, and Mr. Rob Jansen, Dutch Tax & Customs.

Throughout this interactive learning event, participants were given opportunities to build their individual leadership and management capacity through a series of individual reflections, group exercises and case studies.

The workshop first set the context and exposed managers to the development of modern Customs administrations in the 21st century and the need to maintain ongoing efforts in implementing international standards in the area of Customs.

The leadership component of the programme focuses on raising the self-awareness of managers to better understand who they are and how they act when faced with the many challenges the Customs environment presents. Through this approach, managers discover their role in leading and developing their people and their organization.

Participants were also exposed to management skills required by modern Customs managers, including communications, integrity development, negotiations, and change management. The workshop also brought participants to understand their role in managing their people through effective delegation, coaching, feedback, motivation and performance management.

Reactions from participants of the workshop were extremely encouraging and supportive. An article in a SARS e-newsletter quotes one of the participants as follows: “There are very few courses that, after attending, you remember everything. This course for me was an exception. I came to the realisation that everyone can be a leader and my new found mission is to create an environment where individuals discover this for themselves, and where possible unleash it.”

As the WCO Leadership and Management Development Programme is set to be delivered throughout the East and Southern Africa region, the South African Revenue Service will take an active role in its delivery through the Regional Training Center.