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Successful Step Forward towards the Development of “Pool of Trainers” in West Africa through the Master Trainer Programme

27 enero 2022

Under the auspices of the WCO/JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) Joint Project, the Second Working Group Activity (sub-regional workshop) of the Master Trainers Programme (MTP) on Rules of Origin (RoO) was held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, from 17 to 21 January 2022, by a kind host of Cote d’Ivoire Customs, gathering the same participants from the six countries in West Africa who had participated in the first sub-regional workshop held virtually in November 2021.

This workshop is the second in a series of activities to be undertaken by these six Customs Administrations in West Africa, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo to enhance their capacity related to the implementation of RoO especially with the AfCFTA entry into force.  The Master Trainer Programme known as MTP is a joint endeavor under the WCO/JICA Joint Project to develop sustainable and self-contained training capacity within the Customs administrations by (1) developing a pool of well-experienced trainers and (2) regionally featured training materials and program to be used by these trainers. 

In total, eleven (11) nominated Customs officials got together again in Abidjan, to continue work towards the ultimate objective of the MTP.  While the first activity (WG1) in November 2021 concentrated on (i) identification of regionally common issues and challenges in the area of RoO as well as the training needs and (ii) improvement of RoO competence, this second activity (WG2) provided the participants with the opportunity to understand and apply the fundamentals of competency-based training and aimed at equipping them to play their role as a competency builder in the area of RoO. Using the WCO Train the Trainers material according to the competency approach, the focus was on critical areas such as the competency-based training cycle and principles, the adult learning cycle, the development of training material, self-awareness and self-development as a trainer, etc. Experts from the WCO and Japan Customs shared their expertise technical aspects of RoO, especially in the “WCO Guidelines on Customs Infrastructure for Tariff Classification, Valuation and Origin”, in addition to Origin verification and determination through case studies to achieve the Programme objective. 

Participants were encouraged to pursue their efforts in performing as competency builder after the workshop and deliver national training. They committed to apply their learning on the competency-based training and be actively involved in designing and delivering training according to best practices.

Throughout the entire workshop, the participants demonstrated their complete commitment to the MTP and diligently participated in a number of working sessions/group.  Both WCO and JICA welcomed the positive “can do” attitude, the noteworthy sense of ownership by the participants and their efforts to ensure sustainable capacity development in the Customs Administrations of West Africa.

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