032.jpg - 35.06 Kb The World Customs Organisation (WCO) held its 15th session of the regional steering group (RSG) meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe, from November 15 to 17, 2011.


Speaking at the official opening of th e session, the Commissioner General of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, Mr Gershem Pasi, encouraged participants to implement their resolutions and desist from rhetoric.


“We must confront challenges as a region. We want to see results on the ground, not rhetoric,” said Mr Pasi.

The meeting was attended by representatives from the East and Southern African (ESA) region, the WCO-ESA Regional Director for Capacity Building, Mr John Bisonga, as well as a representative from the WCO headquarters, Ms Zisela Mawete. Issues discussed included capacity building and the prevalence of illicit trade.

Ms Mawete chronicled developments within WCO, the umbrella body for Customs administrations, and highlighted challenges being posed by natural disasters worldwide.

“Clearance of relief consignments has become a major task for Customs administrations within the ESA region,” she said.

Ms Mawete also informed the meeting that the Government of the Republic of Finland pledged to offer financial assistance to the East and Southern African region for the building of sustainable capacity by Customs administrations.

Zimbabwe hosted the 13th RSG and governing council meetings in 2009 which were attended by the WCO Secretary General, Mr Kunio Mikuriya. The 14th RSG meeting was held in Port Louis, Mauritius, last year where a resolution to convene the meeting in Zimbabwe was reached.