Opening this Monday, November 21, 2022, in Abidjan, in the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, of the meeting of experts from the member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Economic and Monetary Union West Africa (UEMOA) and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania for the management of the ECOWAS customs union.
For three days, the experts will have to consider the draft Regulation amending the list of categories of goods appearing in the tariff and statistical nomenclature of ECOWAS.
In his speech at the opening of the meeting, Colonel Aké Léopold, Technical Advisor to the Director General of Ivorian Customs, welcomed the initiative of ECOWAS and the choice of Abidjan to host this important meeting whose decisions will significantly impact the region.
“The CET, which is one of the dynamic instruments for harmonizing the trade policies of ECOWAS Member States and for strengthening the Common Market of Member States, must adapt to the needs of our countries and our populations in order to contribute to the consolidation of our Customs Union”, said Colonel Aké Léopold.
Previously, Mrs. Rosemond Ako Asante, GIZ Expert, Head of Trade Facilitation Component, West Africa Trade Facilitation Program (TFWA) and West Africa Trade Promotion Program (WATIP II) , reiterated GIZ’s commitment to supporting ECOWAS, in promoting and facilitating trade in West Africa, in improving the movement of goods and finally in reducing obstacles to cross-border trade.
She also commended the ECOWAS Commission for making significant progress towards the creation and consolidation of the Customs Union in the region as well as the achievement of the Development Goals.
Two other speeches were recorded during this opening ceremony, in particular that of Mr. Samba Dia, Director of the Customs Union at the level of the WAEMU Commission and Mr. Felix KWAKYE Principal Program Officer, Head of the Division in charge of Tariffs and Customs Procedures at the level of the Directorate of Customs Union and Taxation of the ECOWAS Commission.
They both affirmed that their respective Institutions remain at the forefront of issues of integration of Member States and the well-being of the populations of the region. For them, this meeting is a key step in the evaluation of the implementation of the ECOWAS CET and the consideration of new measures likely to make it even more effective and more adapted to the needs of the populations.
This regional meeting of national experts from Member States and the ECOWAS and UEMOA Commissions, will be followed by the meeting of the Directors General of Customs and that of the Directors General of Taxes respectively on November 24 and 25, 2022, then by the 7th meeting of Ministers of Finance of ECOWAS Member States and Mauritania, on November 26, 2022 in Abidjan.