WCO Strategic Plan 2019/2022: Consultation with the East and Southern Africa Region

The WCO continued its Members’ consultation on the Strategic Plan 2019-2022 with a third regional meeting held in Kampala, Uganda, on 17 and 18 October 2018.  This workshop follows on from those already held in the Europe and Americas and Caribbean regions, as part of a consultation process approved by the WCO Council at its June 2018 Session.

This latest workshop, attended by eight countries from the East and Southern Africa (ESA) region, was jointly chaired by Mr. Ricardo Treviño Chapa, WCO Deputy Secretary General, and Mr. Dicksons Collins Kateshumbwa, Commissioner of Uganda Customs and Vice-Chair of the WCO Council for the region.

In his introductory remarks, the Deputy Secretary General explained that the Strategic Plan 2016-2019 would come to an end in June next year.  The WCO’s objective was now to develop a new Strategic Plan that would further reflect Members’ priorities.  Given that the ESA region has considerable experience in strategic planning, having already adopted a specific Regional Strategic Plan, it participated actively in the workshop.  Based on the preliminary results of the survey carried out in August 2018 as well as on feedback from the regional meetings already held, the Deputy Secretary General presented the main features of the initial proposal for the WCO Strategic Plan 2019-2022. 

Detailing the different proposals, including a new Strategic Map, he said that the overall idea was to provide Members with a clear and streamlined tool, built around a limited number of Strategic Goals and tactical activities, for more transparency and efficiency.  The Deputy Secretary General also shared an analysis based on cost allocation per Strategic Goal, as well as highlighting the linkages between the Strategic Plan and the “Environmental Scan”.

The workshop participants welcomed the involvement by Members in this important work and the fact that the main priorities identified through the survey were aligned with their priorities as a region.  A number of valuable proposals, submitted to the Secretariat, were duly noted and will be taken on board when drafting the new Strategic Plan. 

In particular, participants called for an assessment of the Strategic Plan implementation and for the adoption of an efficient Communication Strategy to ensure enhanced promotion of WCO instruments.  The ESA region was of the opinion that the WCO Mission and Vision Statements should be updated according to the new priorities.  As a result, new statements will be proposed as part of the draft Strategic Plan to be presented at the December 2018 Policy Commission Session in Mumbai, India.

By organizing these regional workshops, the WCO Secretariat is fulfilling its obligations in terms of transparency and also with regard to its mandate as a Member-driven organization, ensuring that its Members’ views are incorporated in the WCO Strategic Plan 2019-2022.