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Strengthening security in East Africa through Programme Global Shield

The WCO/JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) Joint Project organized a virtual sub-regional Programme Global Shield (PGS) Follow-up Workshop for East Africa on 13 October 2020 attended by representatives from Customs and other border agencies as well as experts and observers from the WCO, JICA, Interpol, RILO ESA and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) of the United States.

PGS is a multilateral WCO initiative, aimed at building capacity of Customs administrations to counter illicit trafficking and diversion of chemicals and other components used by terrorists to manufacture Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).  Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, supported jointly by the WCO and JICA, are constantly making collective efforts through PGS to enhance their border control capacity on IEDs and its precursor chemicals.

The WCO and JICA have since 2018 supported these Members in East Africa by organizing a series of activities including a sub-regional Awareness Raising Workshop in 2018 and a sub-regional Training-of-Trainer Workshop in 2019. The newly developed PGS trainers have been delivering a number of national PGS cascade trainings and/or sensitization activities on PGS in their respective countries to secure its borders.

The virtual workshop was organized in addition to the national WCO expert missions to the five benefitting Members conducted in late 2019/early 2020 and focused on updating the latest regional IED threats as well as confirming progress towards the joint operational exercise expected to be done in 2021.  The virtual workshop aimed also at enhancing already existing cooperation between Customs and police in East Africa. The information shared was highly appreciated by the participants. The WCO and JICA will continue to support the Members in further enhancing the border control capacity and additional virtual workshops have already been envisaged.

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