WCO security workshops held in Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Togo

03 July 2023

During May and June 2023, security workshops were conducted as part of the West Africa Security Project (WASP) under Programme Global Shield (PGS) in Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Togo. PGS aims to monitor the lawful movement of 13 precursor chemicals and additional components for improvised explosive devices (IEDs), as well as combat their illegal diversion. The goal is to prevent criminal organizations from accessing these materials in the global supply chain.

The use of IEDs continues to be a global concern due to the affordability and widespread availability of the materials used for their manufacturing. The Customs administrations of Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Togo have joined PGS and are now sharing information on precursor chemicals and other materials used in IED production with over a hundred other Customs administrations.

A total of 61 officials from the Customs administrations of Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Togo participated in the training sessions. The workshops aimed to enhance their understanding of precursor chemicals, including their labelling, handling, transportation, storage and detection. Participants also learned about risk assessment, profiling, interagency cooperation and information exchange in this field.

These workshops were organized as part of a collaborative effort by the World Customs Organization (WCO) and its Members to address the significant security threat posed by the use of IEDs.  Through the provision of training, technical assistance and coordination of operational exercises, as well as real-time information and intelligence-sharing, PGS equips its participants and partners with better tools to tackle the illicit diversion of these materials in the supply chain.

The second phase of WASP began in October 2022 with funding support from the German Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the German Government’s Enhance and Enable Initiative (E2I). WASP is helping Customs administrations in improving their procedures and capacities to ensure more effective supply chain controls against security threats within their countries and across the region as a whole.