Wednesday, June 7

CG Darboe extols cabinet ministers, as WCO-WCA conference wraps up

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The GRA Commissioner General, whose country was honoured to host the august international conference, also applauded the Gambia government’s Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service, service chiefs, chairman of Qgroup Foundation and particularly the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs for making the GRA and, by extension, The Gambia proud after successfully hosting the renowned world customs organisations’ conference.  

Mr Darboe said the presence of the aforementioned dignitaries in the event, shows the political will that the Government of The Gambia under the leadership of President Adama Barrow has for the revenue administration authority.

According to CG Darboe, the conference was the first of its kind in the history of GRA’s hosting customs conferences, which happened to be under his leadership supported by the WCO.

Mr Darboe also disclosed that the conference was successfully attended by over 24 Directors General of the World Customs Organization alongside the WCO Secretary General and other experts from all over the world.

He also stated that the WCO comprises 198 countries from West and Central Africa Region including The Gambia. Therefore, Gambia hosting this mega event is a big boost and achievement not only for GRA but the whole country at large, CG Darboe gratefully stated at the end of the conference on Friday.

The theme for the Conference – Nurturing the next generation by promoting a culture of knowledge sharing and professional pride in customs – was professionally dealt with by the various high-profile customs DGs and eminent persons at the occasion.

Mr Darboe told delegates that “the Government of the Gambia feels greatly honoured” to host the 29th WCO-WCA Directors General’s Conference in The Gambia, for this first time.

“I wish to seize this opportunity to warmly welcome the distinguished delegates to this important conference and we are delighted to have you in our beautiful country as we gather to discuss and share insights on the latest developments and challenges in the customs profession in our region,” CG Darboe said at the commencement of the conference.

He added: “We hope that you will leave with a lasting impression about the Gambia. The Gambia is renowned for its rich cultural heritage natural beauty and warm hospitality.

“To organize a conference of this nature is a huge undertaking, and we appreciate all the hard work and effort that has gone into making this event a success.

“On behalf of the Board and Management of the Gambia Revenue Authority, I wish to express our profound gratitude to the WCO-WCA leadership for entrusting us with the privilege of hosting this important conference.

“I also wish to thank his Excellency, the President of the Republic Mr Adama Barrow for agreeing to grace this august gathering. This goes to show the high regard he has for the Customs profession and demonstrates recognition of the important role that we play in facilitating trade, protecting borders and ensuring the safety and security of our societies.”

He said further that in the spirit of the theme of this year’s conference is quite apt as it deals with pertinent issues regarding the next generation of customs professionals.

 “I would urge you all to share your innovative insights and perspectives to strengthen cooperation and foster a culture of collaboration between our various customs administrations,” he said, adding: “As our economies continue to integrate at regional and continental level, it has become even more necessary for us to cooperate and support one another.

“I am confident that by working together and sharing our experiences and best practices we can overcome these challenges and emerge stronger than ever.”

Furthermore, CG Darboe said: “As we advocate for more collaboration and knowledge sharing among our various customs administrations, we also focus on nurturing the next generation of customs officials. As we usually say the young are the leaders of tomorrow. Our young customs officials will play a critical role in shaping the future of customs administration in our region and Africa as a whole.”