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East African Customs Gets Together Again to Enhance Border Control through PGS

04 febrero 2019

Under the auspices of the WCO/JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) Joint Project to support trade facilitation and border control in Africa, a Sub-regional Training-of-Trainer Workshop on Programme Global Shield (PGS) in East Africa was held in Kampala, Uganda, from 22-30 January 2019.  This is the second activity under the PGS component of the Trade Facilitation and Border Control project launched by the five Revenue Authorities in East Africa, namely Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, to further enhance their border control capacity.

Programme Global Shield, or in short PGS, is a multilateral WCO initiative, which aims at building the capacity of customs administrations to counter the illicit trafficking and diversion of chemicals and other components used by terrorists to manufacture improvised explosive devices (IEDs).  The Training-of-Trainer workshop aimed at developing a pool of PGS trainers in East Africa to mitigate the threat posed by IEDs and demonstrating ways how Customs can contribute to control such threats. Amongst other things, the participants practiced exchanging information through the WCO Global Shield secure communication platform, provided to all PGS member states.

Twenty (20) Customs officials from five Revenue Authorities in East Africa who got together last year at the “Awareness Raising Seminar” in May 2018 participated in this workshop again to be “PGS Trainers”.  The WCO and other experts provided the latest updates on the WCO Security Project's initiatives and shared information about the Customs role in border security, technology deployment, and operational activities.  The information shared by the invited national experts from Asia and Europe has significantly contributed to converting knowledge into practices. During the workshop, the participants also went through sessions to be a quality trainer on PGS. As a result, all participants acquired the mindset to be a PGS trainer by deepening their understanding of the threats posed by IEDs, the role that Customs can play, and how PGS training can be delivered effectively.

The workshop was successful and rich in its content from theory to practice, and created a clear path to further enhance customs capacity to mitigate the threat of IEDs through the training to be delivered by the pool of trainers developed by this Training-of-Trainer workshop.  The WCO and JICA will continue to support the efforts by the five East African Revenue Authorities to mitigate the threat of IEDs for more sustainable development of the region.