KAMPALA- Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) staff has on Monday, July 8 welcomed back Mr. Dicksons Kateshumbwa the Customs Commissioner and the World Customs Organization (WCO) Council Chairman back to work.
“A customs guard of honour worthy for a continental history maker has been held this morning to welcome back to work the URA Customs Commissioner and The World Customs Organization Council Chairman, Dicksons C Kateshumbwa at Nakawa HQ.” Read an online post by URA on the authority’s social media platform.
Mr. Kateshumbwa who was the WCO East and South African region Vice Chairman was on Saturday, July 29 elected Chairperson of the WCO Council ahead of the Russian contender Ruslan Davydov during the annual WCO Council session that took place at the WCO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.
“I thank the Global Customs fraternity for entrusting me to steer the agenda,” he said in a tweet.
He took over from Uruguay’s Enrique Canon who was the Council Chairperson for the last 2 years.
However, Mr. Kateshumbwa is the second African to take over this position following of Hon. Pravin Gordhan, the current Minister of Public Enterprises, the Republic of South Africa who was the Chairperson from 2001 to 2006.
As Council Chairperson, Mr. Kateshumbwa will preside over WCO’s Policy Commission that meets twice a year as well as chairing all council meetings that take place annually.
While this is not a full time activity, it is a huge responsibility for Kateshumbwa to ensure that he steers the global customs agenda to focus on key WCO priorities and emerging areas such as implementing the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), capacity building for members, comprehensive review of the harmonized system, the revised Kyoto Convention, r-Commerce, Illicit Financial Flows, Customs Performance Measurement, emerging technologies, Security, Revenue Collection Compliance among others.
The WCO Council is the highest supreme body of the World Customs Organization shaping the global customs and international trade agenda.
The council which makes final decisions on Customs matters is composed of all Directors General of Customs or Commissioners of Customs of WCO’s 181 members/countries across the world.
It also includes special bodies like the European Union, World Bank, IMF, African Union and other Regional blocks as observers.
Uganda raised its profile in the customs world last year when it hosted Africa’s first World Customs Organization (WCO) Global Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Conference in Kampala locks as observers.