1st meeting of the Technical Committee on the security project “Sécurité par collaboration” (SPC++) in the WCA region

With a view to proposing a new framework to tackle the security issues in the West and Central Africa region (WCA) from a trade and Customs perspective, the World Customs Organization (WCO) in cooperation with Nigerian Customs convened the first meeting of the Technical Committee on the security project "Sécurité par collaboration" (SPC++) in Abuja, Nigeria from 29 November to 1st December 2016 with the participation of five countries from the region namely; Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Central Africa and Chad. The director of the "Global Initiative Against Transnational Crime" has also been invited to share his experience and exchange views with the participants during this important event.

The meeting, which was attended by national experts mandated by their director general, demonstrates the strong commitment of the Customs administrations in the WCA region to be more proactive in using security policies and economic resilience of borderlands affected by insecurity, as was highlighted by Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) in his opening address to the participants.

As many countries from the WCA region are affected by violence and conflicts due to the presence of armed and terrorist groups in common border zones, the meeting discussed a new conceptual framework to better understand the specific dynamics that may explain the relationship between trade and security from different perspectives, and in particular the impact of violence on trade flows and revenue in the affected areas.

At the end of the meeting, participants agreed on a number of concrete recommendations to be used to enhance regional coordination and implement jointly activities in order to provide field analysis of the aforementioned dynamics which will subsequently serve as the basis for solutions that are specially adapted to the needs and circumstances of Member countries in the WCA region.