The disclosure was made yesterday at the start of a three-day final regional review meeting of stakeholders of the Swedish government-funded WCO-WACAM project phase 1 at the Kairaba Beach Hotel.
While declaring the meeting open, Abdoulie Jallow, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs told the delegates: “I just want to caution that we should not lose sight of the fact that this is a project and as such, is bound to come to an end. Commonsense therefore dictates that we should put in place our various administrations and mechanisms to help consolidate the gains made so as to ensure sustainability. I strongly believe that key among these should be to build capacities of the local staff and to adequately motivate them to retain the locally built expertise. This review meeting therefore gives us an opportunity to look back to see what went well and what did not go well. It has given us a platform to better plan for the next phase taking into consideration the challenges encountered during the first phase. It is evident as in the case of GRA that the WACAM project had contributed and continues to contribute in the authority’s reform and modernisation process. Given the huge resources pumped by the Swedish government and the professionalism demonstrated by the WCO capacity building directorate, it is only prudent that beneficiary administrations in particular and the region as a whole, make the best use of the support provided.”
Essa Jallow, the acting commissioner general of the Gambia Revenue Authority, said the authority will expedite action on plans that would promote the success of the WACAM project. “We are pleased as GRA to host the final regional event of phase 1 of the WCO-WACAM project which is more or less a review, focusing on the achievements, lessons learnt and the way forward. We have registered a lot of successes in the area of Human Resource Management and support received over the period of 21 months had contributed significantly in our reform and modernisation process.”Kieck Erich, the director of WCO capacity building directorate in his intervention said: “Over the past few years under the WACAM project, the issue of strategic human resource together with other important issues such as stakeholder engagement and communication are mainstreamed in the region. We all understand the benefit regional economic integration would bring on the state of our economies. On customs administration, we are under tremendous pressure and so we are going to strike a balance on implementing regional commitments to bring down both tariff barriers and non-tariff barriers.”]]>