Regional Workshop on Green Customs in West-Africa

After a successful regional Green Customs Initiative (GCI) workshop for customs and enforcement officers from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and South Sudan last October, the GCI organized a similar workshop for some West-African countries last November in Accra, Ghana. The workshop was attended by about 40 customs and enforcement officers from environmental protection agencies in the Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. The participants were introduced to the trade-related aspects of several Multilateral Environmental Agreements and to the work of INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization in this field. It was also an excellent opportunity to share valuable information about the challenges and difficulties of inspection and enforcement of environmentally sensitive commodities, as well on solutions and best practices. Moreover, the participants had the chance to visit the port of Tema near Accra, talk to the local custom officers and learn about the paperless GCNet (Ghana Community Net), an administrative custom system Ghana had recently introduced. Mr. Abubacarr Kujabi, from the Environmental Agency of the Gambia was enthusiastic about the field visit, “We have a learned a lot, especially when it comes to handling chemicals which can be very dangerous to the environment. One of the important take aways from the visit was that communication between Environmental Protection Officers and Customs Officers is crucial.” One of the main goals of this workshop is to ensure that the trained participants relay the acquired knowledge within their agencies. Mr. Mohamed S. Fofana from the National Revenue Authority explained how the GCI-training would be introduced in his agency, “In the National Revenue Authority we have a training unit. This training unit makes it compulsory for staff that go out to trainings to replicate the training with colleagues. We will also submit the training material to the training unit so it is assured that the training gets replicated.” The next activities of the GCI will be announced on the website soon. For more information please contact Yannis Derbali via

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