The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) hosted a Regional Accreditation and Customs Valuation Workshop that was organised by the World Customs Organisation (WCO) from January 10-14, 2011 at St Lucia Park.  Participants were drawn from Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The workshop was aimed at identifying a pool of high-level experts in Customs Valuation, qualified in capacity building and the training domain, capable of conducting training activities at international level following the WCO standards. Five participants from different countries were accredited. These are: Mr Lameck Tatswareyi (Zimbabwe); Mr Ernest Sigande (Zambia); Mr Abel Kagumire (Uganda); Ms Nicolene Warren (South Africa); and Mr Luximan Babajee of Mauritius.  These will be tasked to conduct training and technical assistance activities which will enable the WCO to increase the training it offers to its members.

Ms Christine Msemburi, the ZIMRA Commissioner Human Resources and Administration officially opened the workshop and encouraged participants to grasp as much as they can from the workshop, to mingle and learn from each other. She emphasised that participants should add value to the workshop as it has an impact on the overall quality of the workshop.

In a speech during the closing ceremony, Mr Ian Cremer, a Technical Officer for WCO who was also the facilitator during the workshop, thanked ZIMRA for providing excellent support to the workshop. He encouraged participants to use the skills they learnt for the benefit of the whole region.

The ZIMRA Commissioner General, Mr G T Pasi, officially closed the workshop. In his speech, the Commissioner General stressed the importance of the training to the East and Southern Africa Region.

“Valuation is key. The workshop you have just had impacts on the overall goal of collecting revenue in the region”, he said.

 Mr Pasi also emphasised the value of increasing knowledge especially in today’s changing world. He said that the workshop was in line with this year’s theme for the World Customs Day on January 26, set by the WCO Secretary General Mr Kunio Mikuriya. The theme reads: “Knowledge, a catalyst for Customs excellence”.

The participants were treated to a braai dinner which enabled them to interact and refresh.