The WCO EAC CREATe project reaches out to over 290 stakeholders in East Africa on the regional AEO programme

30 June 2016

The WCO-EAC CREATe project, funded by the government of Sweden, has successfully delivered a series of sensitization workshops on the EAC Regional Authorized Economic Operator programme. Until now, sensitization workshops have been held at the major regional seaports in Dar es Salaam, (Tanzania) and Mombasa (Kenya), as well as a key border point Malaba between Kenya and Uganda. In his opening remarks to the sensitization session in Tanzania, Mr. Qumdiyay Konaay, the Acting Deputy Commissioner Customs Enforcement in Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) emphasized the importance of trade, trade facilitation, compliance and the security of the international trade supply chain. "We must facilitate trade and ensure safety of the supply chain in order to remain competitive in the modern world of trade; and this program is here to help us do that."

The workshops benefited over 290 participants from Customs Administrations, Cross-Border Regulatory Agencies as well as the Trading Community. The workshops provided the participants with the opportunity to learn about the EAC regional AEO programme scheme (benefits and criteria) as well as about wider international developments related to the safety of the international trade supply chain and the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement. Mr. Phares Magesa, the Operations Manager of Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), expressed his appreciation of the workshop in explaining that "In every part of the world, people are developing initiatives to facilitate trade and we should not be the exception lest our region is left behind".

By the end of the workshop, the stakeholders showed enthusiasm for the regional AEO programme and advised to pursue the sensitization efforts at other major border posts across the region.  Until the end of September 2016, further sensitization workshops are planned in Rusomo (Rwanda), Katuna (Uganda)/ Gatuna (Rwanda), Akanyaru (Burundi) / Kanyaru Haut (Rwanda).

For more information about this activity or the project, please contact the WCO-Sweden Programme Director, Mr. Richard Chopra ( )