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First MTP working group activity to cooperate with West African Members on improving Rules of Origin capacity building

18 noviembre 2021

The WCO held the working Group Activity one (WG1) on Rules of Origin (RoO) under the Master Trainer Programme for West Africa virtually from 8-12 November 2021.  This activity is the first of the Master Trainer Programme on Rules of Origin launched to support West African Customs administrations in developing a “Regional Experts Pool” for more sustainable capacity building in the region and cooperate for smooth and effective implementation of African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in entire Africa.

The Master Trainer Programme or MTP is a programme conducted under the WCO/JICA(Japan International Cooperation Agency) Joint Project to develop sustainable and self-contained training capacity by 1) developing a pool of well-experienced trainers and 2) regionally featured training materials and programme to be used by these trainers.  To achieve that objective, a series of progressive activities will be undertaken by the participating Customs Administrations namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte-d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo, supported by the WCO and JICA.  Upon completion of this MTP, the Master Trainers are expected to deliver training on RoO not only in their respective administrations but also for the benefit of other Members in the region. 

In total, twelve (12) Customs officials nominated by the six Customs administrations in West Africa, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte-d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo, got together virtually. During the workshop, each Customs administration shared its issues and challenges that they are facing in implementing RoOs, especially preferential ones.  Invited experts from the WCO, AfCFTA Secretariat and Japan Customs shared their knowledge and expertise on RoO from global, regional and national perspectives, focusing on the AfCFTA and contributed to the improvement of the knowledge and expertise of participants to be quality trainers. Moreover, Master Trainer and WCO Accredited Expert from Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) shared her experience as Master Trainer in East Africa. At the end of the Working Group Activity, participants jointly developed their collective work plan to achieve the two objectives of the MTP through the progressive follow-up activities.  Participants expressed their strong appreciation to the WCO and JICA for this new opportunity as well as to the participating experts for their dedication and sharing their valuable knowledge and expertise. In addition, ROCB WCA expressed the appreciation to the JICA, the WCO, Japan Customs and the AfCFTA Secretariat. 

Both the WCO and the JICA welcomed the strong ownership and commitment clearly demonstrated by the participants during the workshop and reaffirmed their support to the continuous efforts of Customs Administrations in West Africa to ensure sustainable capacity development.

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