EAC countries stake a claim as AfCFTA benchmark countries


The East African Community’s (EAC) ability to progressively tick all the necessary boxes of effective border control and customs procedures, especially given the tentative roll-out of African Free Trade Continental Area’s (AfCTFA) testing phase, was put on display during a recent event in Zanzibar.

Hosted by the five active East African Revenue Authorities (Eara) – Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania – the meeting in the Zanzibari capital of Stone Town is said to have succeeded in launching a “Project on Capacity Development for Trade Facilitation and Border Control in East Africa”.

The meeting was facilitated by the World Customs Organisation (WCO) in conjunction with the Japan International Cooperation Agency and in large part focused on transferring the necessary skills to enable some of the objectives set out by Eara – effectively the EAC minus South Sudan which is a non-active member.

The training targeted “improving the efficiency of border procedures and enhancing border control”, and helped Eara countries to hone in on effectively launching one-stop border post operations and building capacity in three key areas.

These were identified as risk management, post-clearance auditing, and launching a mechanism called Program Global Shield.

WCO indicated that the Stone Town training should equip Eara countries with the necessary free-trade tools to set benchmark services and standards as AfCTFA gathers pace towards its full post-testing launch date of July 2020.


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