WCO SG hails Gambia as center-point for connecting borders

Mar 3, 2022, 1:11 PM

Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, the Secretary General of the World Customs Organisation (WCO), on Wednesday said Gambia is a centre-point for border connectivity through the customs operations and other border security agencies to ensure the country develops the international standard of trading.

“I see further beyond Gambia is really connecting,’’ he said.

Dr. Mikuriya made these remarks at Jiboro Custom Post during his visit to The Gambia designed to assess the level of progress under the Customs administration.

He was accompanied by officials of the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Gambia Police Force.

Dr. Mikuriya said WCO’s mission and vision are that borders are divided but customs will connect them, adding that customs are key players to ensure there is connectivity of trade at the borders.

He explained that Africa has a big dream of creating one market with the African continent as a free-trading area.

“I just signed an agreement with the African Continent on Free-Trade Area Secretariat. This will enable us to provide all the expertise and capacity building – to ensure that the creation of the African market is done,’’ he said.

“I salute you all for the collaboration because you are the people who are ensuring that customs play their important role. I am also glad to hear your challenges and opportunities – to ensure how we can work together to ensure your economy is well connected to your surrounding countries but also incorporated or integrated into the global market,’’ he noted. 

Yankuba Darboe, the Commissioner General of GRA, said the visit to Jiboroh Border Post was to ensure that the WOC SG see for himself how customs and other sister services operate at the borders. He added that Jiboro is very strategic for the country in the sense that it connects The Gambia with the southern part of Senegal.

He told the delegates that through this border, one would be able to access Guinea-Bissau as well as the Guinea Conakry. He points out that The Gambia is a country that involves a lot of transit because of its strategic location and a lot of businesses bring goods to Banjul on transit to Guinea Bissau or Conakry.

“They all have to pass here and to the next border of Seleti – that is why this area is important for GRA,’’ he said.

The building at the border belongs to GRA but all the other sister security agencies comprising the Police and Drug Law Enforcement Agency (DLEA) among others are equally housed.

“They work as stakeholders and collaborate for the security of the country and protect the revenue that belongs to the country. Also, through the help that we receive from you (WCO), we coordinated border management and other training that are offered by the WCO,’’ he said.

Landing A. Bojang, officer commanding at the Gambia Immigration Jiboro Border Post, who spoke on behalf of the other sister security services at the border, hailed the cordial relationship that exists between the different securities.

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