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Delegates gather in Swakopmund for regional customs meeting

Delegates gather in Swakopmund for regional customs meeting

By Adolf Kaure.

The World Customs Organization East and Southern Africa (WCO ESA) Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB) held their 39th Regional Steering Group (RSG) meeting at Swakopmund on Monday.

The meeting was attended by representatives from 15 member states, Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Representatives from strategic partners were also in attendance, including the International Trade Centre, United Nations and World Trade Organisation agency.

“The Regional Steering Group provides member states with the opportunity to discuss the progress made to address important policy matters aligned with the objectives specified in their regional strategy,” said the RSG Chair, Chabeeraj Hurry of Mauritius at the opening of the meeting.

Hurry also commended the ROCB for its recent initiatives undertaken for the region. These include capacity building based on an assessment for each member, the survey on the use of customs mobile equipment in ESA, donor mapping, development of the ESA Regional code of conduct on integrity as well as the ongoing work for the European Union-WCO Africa Programme for the implementation of the harmonized system 2022 and rules of origin. “No doubt, the ROCB will provide more details and updates during the course of the meeting,” he said.

According to Hurry, the agenda for the meeting was compiled under the guidance of the ESA management committee which met in February in Antananarivo, Madagascar. “The meeting reviewed the current status and requirements of the ESA region and its regional entities, the implementation of the regional strategy, and the status of the decisions made during the 29th Governing Council, among other topical areas,” he said.

Hurry reiterated the ESA management committee’s commitment to continue providing guidance and support to the ROCB in its efforts to steer the development of the region. “The discussions have been carefully aligned with each RTC’s area of excellence, and I am fully confident that the outcomes will provide important guidance and good practices that will pave the way for the smooth implementation of our regional strategy,” said Hurry.

He urged all the delegates to actively take part in the panel discussions and share strategic insights, experiences, and knowledge for the benefit of the respective customs administrations and the advancement of the region.

The WCO East and Southern Africa Region consist of 24 member states which are Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia , South Africa, South Sudan, eSwatini, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe to ensuring economic growth and intra-regional trade by facilitating trade securely, efficiently and professionally.

Delegates who gathered for the World Customs Organization East and Southern Africa Regional Office for Capacity Building held their 39th Regional Steering Group meeting in Swakopmund.


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