BY JOHN WERU,NAIROBI,22ND NOV 2017-Senior Customs officers, Scholars, Government and Tax Authority officials drawn from the East and Southern African countries are in the country for a two-day World Customs Organisation conference that kicks off at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies tomorrow.
The delegates drawn from South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Kenya among other countries are in the country to attend the second World Customs Organization (WCO) East & Southern Africa Regional Office for Capacity Building, Regional Research Conference.
The conference is hosted by Kenya School of Revenue Administration (KESRA), which is the World Customs Organisation’s Regional Training Centre. It will be presided over by the National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich as well as the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Commissioner General John Njiraini.
Speaking when he confirmed the finalisation of organisation plans ahead of the conference official opening, World Customs Organization (WCO) East & Southern Africa Regional Office for Capacity Building Director, Mr. Larry Liza, said the two-day conference is aimed at advancing the Trade Facilitation (TF) agenda, within the framework of the WCO Mercator Programme.
“We are looking forward to host a successful research conference exploring perspectives from the private sector on the trade facilitation tools and instruments implemented in East and Southern Africa region,” Liza said and added, “among other topics, we shall also examine the progress made in the implementation of the revised Kyoto Convention while assessing Customs Capacity Building Initiatives in East and Southern Africa.”
Launched in 2014, the WCO Mercator Programme is aimed at assisting governments worldwide to implement the Trade Facilitation Agreements expeditiously and in a harmonized manner by using core WCO instruments and tools.
The conference organisers, Liza said have lined up a series of interactive engagement sessions and presentations. Speakers and presenters lined up for the research conference include United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Secretary General Dr Mukhisa Kituyi, State Department of Trade, Principal Secretary Dr Chris Kiptoo, KRA Director, Constantine Kandie and former Africa Union deputy Chairperson Mr. Erastus Mwencha. Other speakers include World Customs Organisation Head of Research Thomas Canten and Africa Development Bank Regional Integration Coordinator Patrick Kanyimbo.
The World Customs Organization, East and Southern Africa, Regional Office for Capacity Building (WCO ESA ROCB) launched the ESA Regional Research Programme, in 2013, aiming to build institutional capacity and the body of knowledge in Customs through research.