Success of AfCFTA lies on robust infrastructure, World Customs tells Africa

The Secretary-General of World Customs Organisation (WCO), Dr. Kunio Mikuriya has stressed the importance of a robust infrastructure for the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) while highlighting the leadership role played by Customs in the formation of AfCFTA.

The WCO Secretary-General reiterated WCO’s commitment, alongside the African Union, Regional Economic Communities and national Customs administrations, to support the historic initiative of creating a single market in Africa.

Mikuriya stated this during the panel session on the operationalization of the AfCFTA at the Regional Conference of Directors General of Customs of the West and Central Africa (WCA) Region held online last week.

He described the WCO priorities and new working methods. 

 The Conference then reviewed and discussed the following matters: progress in the Region, Customs modernization, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), measures to combat fraud and capacity building needs.

Directors General also reflected on Customs’ response to COVID-19 and underscored the vital role of information exchange in combating counterfeit or substandard medicines and vaccines.

The conference discussed the capacity-building opportunities provided by the WCO and the identification of needs in that respect.  Additionally, the Directors General decided to improve the Region’s administrative and financial arrangements to support regional initiatives.

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