On 15 March 2021, the World Customs Organization (WCO) announced the formal commencement of its West Africa Security Project, funded by the German Federal Foreign Office. It forms part of a German Government initiative, aimed at facilitating support for partner States with a focus on security sector reform.
This Project marks the first formal cooperation between German Customs and the WCO in relation to Border Security matters. In the initial phase of the Project the beneficiary countries will include Côte d’Ivoire, Togo and Ghana. The aim is to build on and sustain the recent WCO-funded security activities and assistance in the region, delivered under the WCO’s Security Project for West and Central Africa. Through this Project, the WCO has provided a range of detection equipment, nCEN training and other training relating to improvised explosive device (IED) detection and border security preparedness.
The Project will initially focus on a “diagnostic phase” during which the situation in the major ports, airports and land borders serving the region in Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, and Ghana will be assessed in order to establish how enhanced revenue- and security-related Customs procedures can be implemented in those facilities. This phase will also look at how, through the enhanced use of nCEN and other intelligence tools, higher-risk shipments of IED precursor chemicals and components, as well as SALW and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) components, can be profiled effectively.
Furthermore, the data collected during this initial phase will be used to strike the right balance between the awareness-raising, training and operational activities to be provided under the Project over the following years. This will be communicated to Directors General from the WCA region, via both an implementation report and a high-level engagement event to be held later this year, which will assess the challenges to be addressed and discuss the need for further action.
To find out more about the West Africa Security Project or the WCO Security Programme, please contact: WestAfricaSecurityProject@wcoomd.org
Source: WCO (World Customs Organization), http://www.wcoomd.org/en/media/newsroom/2021/march/launch-of-wco-west-africa-security-project.aspx