29th Meeting of the Governing Council for the WCO East and Southern Africa region

15 May 2023

On 11 and 12 May, at the invitation of the WCO East and Southern Africa (ESA) region, WCO Secretary General Dr. Kunio Mikuriya attended the 29th East and Southern African Region (ESA) Governing Council hosted by Madagascar Customs in Antananarivo, Madagascar. He also joined the celebration of the bicentennial of Madagascar Customs.

The Director General of the Madagascar Customs, Mr. Ernest Lainkana, welcomed all the delegates to his country for the regional gathering. Secretary General Mikuriya appreciated the warm welcome and congratulated the progress in Customs modernization in the region, particularly in the host country. While the trade volume in Madagascar has remained stagnant since 2020, its Customs revenue has more than doubled with clearance time significantly reduced during the same period. Madagascar’s Minister of Economy and Finance, Ms. Rindra Rabarinirinarison formally opened the meeting.

The ESA Governing Council, chaired by the WCO Vice Chair, Mr. Batsirai Chadzingwa, Commissioner of Customs and Excise of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, organized a panel session on “People Management - Wellness and Mental Health of Customs Officers” with the participation of Dr. Mikuriya and several Directors General. The Council also reviewed the regional activities, took note of the WCO report and decided on the regional budget and regional representation.

At the end of the meeting, Madagascar Customs organized a celebration event of its bicentennial in the presence of Madagascar Prime Minister, H.E. Christian Ntsay, with the participation of Customs officers and Customs partners. Dr. Mikuriya delivered a congratulatory remark on behalf of the entire Customs community.

During his stay, Dr. Mikuriya separately met with Prime Minister Ntsay and Minister Rabarinirinarison to review Customs modernization. Both political leaders recognized the progress in Customs reform in their country, with a particular emphasis on enhanced integrity, and thanked the WCO’s support in this respect.