WCO strengthens Middle Management Development capabilities of Accelerate Trade Facilitation Programme partner countries

07 June 2023

Under the auspices of the WCO Accelerate Trade Facilitation Programme funded by His Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) of the United Kingdom, the WCO conducted a Middle Management Development (MMD) Train-the-Trainers workshop for 18 participants of six of the Programme’s partner countries. The workshop took place from 9th to 17th May 2023 at the headquarters of South African Revenue Services (SARS) in Pretoria, South Africa. It aimed to nurture prospective MMD trainers from Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, Nigeria, Zambia, and South Africa to support the implementation of the MMD training programme within their countries and at regional levels. 

The MMD is the third core element of the WCO Leadership and Management Development (LMD) Programme. It is developed to support middle managers of Customs administrations in expanding their knowledge and understanding of modern management by equipping them with a set of fundamental skills that are necessary to better understand and manage themselves, their teams, stakeholders and the organizational strategy and culture on a daily basis. To this end, the workshop included experience sharing, deep personal reflections, group exercises, presentation and training skills, and discussions on various concepts of modern leadership and management.

During his opening remarks, SARS Commissioner, Mr. Edward Kieswetter, expressed his appreciation to both the WCO and HMRC for the support received by SARS on leadership development. Commissioner Kieswetter underlined the importance of achieving results by enhancing leadership; he shared SARS’ inspiring results in increased revenue collection and the enhanced trust of its clients and staff. He encouraged participants and their countries to leverage the workshop for a similar transformational organizational journey. Speaking on behalf of the British High Commission to South Africa, Mr. Nick Latta recognized skills development as a priority for the United Kingdom’s sustainable development agenda, giving SARS as an example where leadership has proven to be fundamental in Customs reform and modernization.

During the workshop’s closing, participants shared feedback and insights on the impact of the MMD training Programme and appreciated the knowledge and skills acquired. Going forward, with the support of their national MMD Trainers, the six Accelerate Trade Facilitation partner countries will be rolling-out their own MMD programmes – recognizing that effective leadership is a key enabler for effectively and transparently managing Customs and border procedures and reforms.

For more information on the Accelerate Trade Facilitation Programme, please see here.

For more information on the WCO Leadership and Management Development Programme, please contact capacity.building@wcoomd.org.