-Be strategic, WCO urges African States

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The World Customs Organisation (WCO) says African governments need to develop strategies to ensure they benefit from the growing opportunities on the continent.


WCO director for Capacity Building Erich Kieck says the economic prospects of Africa are no longer a narrative but one that presents opportunities for growth and investment.


Mr Kieck said countries, especially Zambia, should quickly implement strategies in four key areas development namely infrastructure development, capacity building, improved trade, and industrialisation of economies.


Mr Kieck was speaking in Lusaka today at the Third Top Management dialogue meeting for the East and Southern African (ESA) Region.

The three (3) day meeting brings together top customs executives from the region and aims to build trade capacity through customs modernisation.


And the Finnish Embassy counsellor for economic growth and private sector development  Villie Luukanen says there is need to improve cross border trading and management in order to reduce the levels of poverty on the continent.


Mr Luukanen said governments need to be innovative and use initiative to ensure that they modernise their customs administrations.


Mr Luukanen stated that the Finnish government will continue to support customs administration  in Africa and Zambia in particular as part of its aid for the trade agenda.


Meanwhile, Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) Commissioner General Berlin Msiska stressed the importance of the dialogue meeting saying it would help identify key strategic drivers for change in the region.


Mr Msiska said this would enhance trade facilitation and improve compliance from tax payers.