Within the framework of trade facilitation and customs cooperation in West Africa, an interconnection project of Customs of 4 countries is currently underway. As of March 2015, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Abidjan by the Directors General of Customs of the countries concerned to formalize the interconnection of their computer systems.
Indeed, in the conclusions of its diagnostic study on Côte d’Ivoire, the World Customs Organization (WCO) recommended the establishment of an IT infrastructure to be shared by the Customs of Côte d'Ivoire, Mali and Burkina Faso. Also, as part of the Support and Assistance Program for Trade and Regional Integration (PACIR), the Ivorian Customs Administration initiated a project to interconnect its computer systems across the initial three countries mentioned and Senegal subsequently joined the project.
Thus, the Borderless Alliance participated in both the Technical and Steering Committees meetings of the interconnection project held in Abidjan from 9thto 11thmarch 2015 and 18thto 19thMarch 2015 respectively. At these meetings, the initial study phase of project was completed with the adoption of functional and technical specifications, timeline and budget for the implementation phase which were developed and a MoU signed by the Customs Directors of the 4 countries to formalize the interconnection project. Given the importance of this project, some very high profile personalities attended the meeting of the Steering Committee of 19 March 2015. These included the Directors of Customs of the countries involved, the Director of the Community Computer Centre (ICC) of ECOWAS, the Representative of the World Customs Organization, the representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Executive Secretary of the Borderless Alliance. The Abidjan meetings were organized with financial support from the World Bank at the request of Borderless Alliance.