New Program to Support ESA Regional Strategy on “Experts Pool” Launched in Zambia

09 November 2018

Under the auspices of the WCO/JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) Joint Project and the support of the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), a sub- regional workshop on Customs valuation under the Master Trainers Programme for Southern African countries was held in Lusaka, Zambia from 29 October to 2 November 2018.  This workshop is a kick off activity of the Master Trainers Programme on Customs valuation launched to support the WCO East and Southern African (ESA) regional strategy in developing a “Regional Experts Pool” for more sustainable capacity building. 

The Master Trainer Program or MTP is a program that will be conducted under the WCO/JICA Joint Project to develop sustainable and self-contained training capacity by 1) developing a pool of well-experienced trainers and (2) regionally featured training materials and program to be used by these trainers.  To achieve that objective, a series of progressive activities will be undertaken by the participating Customs administrations, namely Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe, supported by the WCO and JICA.  Upon completion of this MTP, the Master Trainers are expected to deliver training on Customs valuation not only in their respective administrations but also for the benefit of other countries in the region. 

In total, fifteen (15) Customs officials nominated by the 5 Revenue Authorities in Southern Africa got together in Lusaka.   During the workshop, each Revenue Authority shared its issues and challenges it is facing in implementing Customs valuation as well as efforts in strengthening uniform application of Customs valuation.  Invited experts from the WCO, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and Japan Customs shared their knowledge and expertise on Customs valuation from global and national perspectives and contributed to the improvement of the knowledge and expertise of participants to be quality trainers.  In addition, the SADC and COMESA Secretariats presented the regional efforts to improve the Customs valuation function in their member country and their Human Resources development strategy and policy. The two regional entities stated that the MTP will significantly contribute to sustainable capacity building and will complement efforts on trade facilitation and Customs modernization.  At the end of the workshop, participants jointly developed their collective work plan to achieve the two objectives of the MTP through the progressive follow-up activities.  Participants expressed their strong appreciation to the WCO and JICA for this new opportunity as well as to the participating experts for their dedication and sharing their valuable knowledge and expertise. 

Both WCO and JICA welcomed the strong ownership and commitment clearly demonstrated by the participants during the workshop and reaffirmed their support to the continuous efforts of Customs administrations in Southern Africa to ensure sustainable capacity development.