Successful step forward in the Development of a “Pool of Trainers” in West Africa through the WCO/JICA Master Trainer Programme

27 September 2022

Under the auspices of the WCO/JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) Joint Project and with the kind host of the Ghana Revenue Authority, the third Working Group Activity of the Master Trainers Programme (MTP) on Rules of Origin (RoO) for West Africa was held in Accra, Ghana, from 12 to 16 September 2022.

The objective of MTP is to establish more self-sustainable capacity in key Customs work areas in the participating regions through developing a pool of well-qualified trainers and training materials/programmes that meet regional needs.  To this end, the MTP trains same nominated participants (WG members) from respective Customs Administrations through 5 working groups and intersessional activities for 2-3 years. In addition, the MTP on RoO, which started in September 2021, is intended to cooperate with African WCO Members to smoothly implement the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Based on the remarkable success of MTP so far, and taking into account the needs of WCO Members and the importance of improving the Customs capability in Africa for the implementation of AfCFTA, the WCO and the JICA had agreed to expand the MTP on RoO to 2 WCO Members for this region, namely Cameroon and Senegal, giving a total of 8 participating Members. All 8 Members, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo, participated in the working group activity from the region.

This working group activity is the third in a series of 5 activities of the MTP to be undertaken for the WG members to be Master Trainers (MT). The WG members started developing teaching materials they could use when conducting training sessions and were drilled on teaching skills and knowledge to become MTs on RoO. With this in mind, the WCO and Japan Customs experts conducted lectures, including case studies, to enable the WG members to understand RoO and the competency-based approach further.

The material making has just begun and the WG members are expected to continue working on it intersessionally until the material is finalized at the 4th WG planned for next year.

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