AfDB and World Customs Organization Partner to Strengthen African Customs Administrations

31/01/2012
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The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Customs Organization (WCO) will work together to enhance the capacity of customs administrations in Africa.

The declaration was made yesterday evening in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, during the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding between the two institutions, on the margins of the 18th African Union Summit. The summit, which took place in Ethiopia from 23-30 January, focused on boosting intra-African trade – an area in which customs administrations can play a vital role in strengthening national and regional economies in Africa.

The enhanced cooperation between AfDB and the WCO will help advance the economic development of African countries by assisting customs administrations in their reform and modernization efforts.

“The WCO is committed to working with the African Development Bank Group and our other international and regional partners to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, capacity and connectivity of customs administrations in Africa,” said WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya. “This MOU will facilitate relations between the WCO and the African continent, and provide a concrete basis for further cooperation on customs issues that will contribute positively to economic growth, social progress and leadership development,” he added.

“Under this partnership, the AfDB’s regional infrastructure financing and WCO’s technical customs expertise will complement each other and improve the efficiency of our efforts to facilitate trade,” said AfDB’s President, Donald Kaberuka. “Coordinated efforts by both institutions to improve border management will help many companies in Africa conduct cross-border trade. This will in turn further deepen regional integration in the region,” he added.

The partnership includes collaboration in identifying, developing and implementing customs capacity building projects by observing internationally agreed best practices and supporting customs cooperation and regional integration in Africa.

In addition, it promotes a knowledge partnership, including research and knowledge sharing in areas of common interest, as well as close institutional dialogue to ensure a coherent approach and to identify comparative advantages as well as complementarities between the WCO and AfDB.

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