WCO supports Ethiopia in adopting a blended training approach and positively evaluates Mercator engagement

19 febrero 2018

Under the framework of the Mercator Programme, the WCO delivered a combined Monitoring, Evaluation and e-learning mission in Addis Ababa on the 5th to 9th of February 2018. The objectives of this mission were both to assess the impact of the Mercator activities delivered in the past two years, and also to officially launch the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority’s (ERCA) e-learning platform covering specific TFA-modules translated into Amharic. The mission also served to lay the foundations for future engagements with ERCA under the tailor-made track of the Mercator Programme which is designed to support the uniform implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), using the WCO instruments and tools.

Since the endorsement of the Mercator Implementation plan for Ethiopia in June 2016, ERCA has benefitted from WCO support in various trade facilitation areas including valuation / classification, risk management, time-release study, post-clearance audit and organizational development. Through discussions with different units who had benefitted from the Mercator assistance, the mission team evaluated the impacts of the various activities noting significant progress in several areas. The mission team also met with various Annex D representatives based in Addis Ababa to facilitate coordination of future Customs support activities.

In parallel, a WCO accredited expert supported ERCA with the installation and set-up the e-Learning platform, and also provided a train-the-trainers session to introduce the new training tool as well as the blended approach covering both e-learning material and face to face sessions to local Customs facilitators. As a result of this training, and thanks to the dedication of ERCA and its team, ERCA is now ready to start using the blended training approach. On the last day of the mission, 9th of February, the official launching ceremony of the ERCA e-learning platform took place, with an audience composed of ERCA officials including the Director General and Senior Management, representatives from the WCO and other Annex D organizations. In his opening speech, Director General of ERCA Mr Mogus Balcha highlighted the importance of launching this e-learning platform to enable enhancing the general knowledge of trade facilitation issues among the Administration and expressed ERCAs appreciation of the support provided by the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of Finland through the WCO.

The WCO wishes to express its sincere thanks to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Government of Finland for the extensive support provided to Ethiopia under the HMRC-WCO-UNCTAD Programme and the Finland ESA Programme II, and especially the funding provided to the translation of the TFA specific e-learning modules into Amharic.