On March 22, 2019 the Ivorian capital, Abidjan, will host the launch of the regional customs network for transit trade (ALISA) of Member States of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The ALISA project aims to use information technology to facilitate trade, transport and the free movement of goods within ECOWAS.
It offers huge benefits to government and financial institutions and the private sector as it paves the way for shared information and data in real time, reduced waiting times, and increased revenue with the reduction in transit and transportation costs.
International trade facilitation and security; more efficient transit trade procedures and fraud detection and prevention; simplified and secure transit trade operations, electronic transfer of transit trade data and increased customs revenue through the provision of highly efficient services, are all, among others, objectives of the ALISA system.
The expected outcomes of the project mainly include a more viable business environment, increased and secure customs revenue, contribution to growth and competitiveness of West African economies.
The ALISA project is a platform for interface with existing customs systems of ECOWAS Member States that will enable the exchange of data over a secure system interconnection. The data and other information will be available and may be exchanged over a centralised regional customs database.
The ALISA system offers huge advantages to Member State governments and the ECOWAS Commission, customs administrations, financial institutions, private sector, companies and businessmen.
The customs interconnection project is one of the actions being undertaken by ECOWAS to improve the flow of goods across the different land corridors of West Africa by providing electronic access to customs information on goods in transit from one Member State to another.
The Abidjan meeting will enable participants to assess further the advantages and challenges of the ALISA project, and the key role it plays in the formation of the West African regional market.
Participants at the meeting include the Secretary of State under the office of the Ivorian Prime Minister in charge of Budget, Directors-General of Customs from ECOWAS Member States, the regional organisation’s Commissioners for Customs and Free Movement, Tèi Konzi, and Telecommunications and Information Technology, Dr Zouli Bonkoungou.
Officers of the said Commission, particularly the Community Information Centre Director, Dr Osei Tutu Agyeman-Duah, Customs Union Director, Salifou Tiemtoré, and Ag. Director Communications, Liberor Doscof Aho, will also be in attendance.
Representatives of the Commission of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), the Secretariat of the World Customs Organisation (WCO), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the European Union, World Bank, German Cooperation, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), are also expected to participate at the meeting.