AfDB, WCO sign pact on customs administrations to boost Africa’s intra-trade

AfDB’s President Donald Kaberuka (left) and WCO’s Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya during the signing ceremony. Photo credit: AfDB

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Customs Organization (WCO) will work together to enhance the capacity of customs administrations in Africa after the two organisations signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to a partnership agreement.

The cooperation which was declared on the margins of the just-ended 18th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia January 30, 2012 will help in boosting intra-African trade – an area in which customs administrations play a vital role in strengthening national and regional economies in Africa.

The MoU was signed by the WCO’s Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya and AfDB’s President Donald Kaberuka.

According to the AfDB, the enhanced cooperation with the WCO “will help advance the economic development of African countries by assisting customs administrations in their reform and modernization efforts.”

The partnership also 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.

“Under this partnership, 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,” said Donald Kaberuka in a statement.

While Kunio Mikuriya added “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.”

By Ekow Quandzie

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