WCO Secretary General meets with the new trainees from the Belgian Customs School

07 September 2022

At the opening of the 51st Session of the Belgian Customs School for French-speaking African Customs officers on 5 September 2022, the WCO Secretary General, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, reflected on the crucial role of such initiatives that focus on capacity building and human resource development.

Echoing the opening speech by Mr. Philippe Jacquij, General Administrator of Taxation, Federal Public Service Finance (Belgium), who stressed the need to build stronger Customs administrations and to bring greater prosperity to African countries, Dr. Mikuriya emphasized that the WCO Secretariat was doing everything in its power to assist administrations in enhancing their performance through international cooperation, coordinated border management and connectivity of IT systems.

During their 10-month stay at the Belgian Customs School, the trainees will have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of Customs matters and develop specific skills during specialized workshops, particularly in the management and risk management domains. The curriculum also includes lectures by WCO Secretariat experts on internationally recognized practices and methods, WCO standards and tools, and international cooperation mechanisms.

The representative of the Belgian Customs School called to mind the key words of this education programme, namely "inspire, collaborate and transform", and encouraged the 30 selected trainees, from 10 African Customs Administrations (Benin, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Guinea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Mali, Niger and Rwanda), to acquire new knowledge, to determine which lessons learned need to be transferred to their respective Administrations and to grow their skills.