The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Jean Ping, on 7 September 2012, in his office at AUC Headquarters in Addis Ababa, received a delegation from the World Customs Organization, led by the organization’s Secretary General, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya. The courtesy visit was organized as part of the 4th Sub-Committee Meeting of the Directors General of Customs of the African Union, which took place in Addis Ababa from 3 to 7 September 2012.
Welcoming his guests, the Chairperson underscored the importance of the relationship between the AUC and the WCO and indicated that the meeting of Directors General was a valuable platform to develop the cooperation further. He recalled that the ties of cooperation between both organizations were formalized in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2010.
Chairperson Ping lamented the low levels of intra-African trade which currently stand at about 10%, due to various reasons including the lack of adequate infrastructure and the delays experienced at borders as a consequence of lengthy customs procedures. However, he noted that regional integration in Africa has made notable progress, as evidenced by the Tripartite Initiative between SADC, COMESA and EAC, as well as ECOWAS.
Source: African Union Commission (AUC) – Press Release – 10 September 2012