Twenty senior staff from The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) on Monday commenced a 10-day Leadership and Management Development workshop at the Kairaba Beach Hotel.
The training, which is funded by the World Bank, in partnership with the World Customs Organization (WCO) is launching a new programme that will provide customized national-level to member administrations in Sub-Saharan Africa for: leadership and Management Development and Training and E-learning Implementation and Enhancement. This programme presents member administrations with unique opportunity to benefit from customized expert-level support in leadership and management development, including the World Customs Organization's leader-edge 10-day leadership and management development workshop, to effectively integrate e-learning into training programmes for customs officers and managers; expand customs officers' and managers' knowledge of international standards on customs, including the revised Kyoto convention.
In her Opening remarks, Juldeh Ceesay, the deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, said that the government has placed great value on building capacities for improved performance and quality service delivery, by our national institutions, adding that they are all aware that funding opportunities are shrinking globally. He noted that sending people abroad for such important training is posing real challenges on our national budget. " Therefore, customized training and capacity-building programmes like this provides a platform where many people can benefit in a greater way.
Madam Ceesay, further explained that the customs capacity enhancement in Sub-Saharan Africa, dubbed "Supporting customs modernization and Reform through Responsive 21st century Approaches to Leadership, Management and training", is a project that the government of The Gambia highly appreciates. " I would like to reaffirm the political will of the government for the modernisation and reform customs, including the prioritisation of leadership and management development and training. Among the benefits of this training is to expand participants' knowledge of international standards on customs, including the revised Kyoto Convention. It will further contribute to and benefit a local pool of leadership and training experts who can continue to support customs modernisation over the long term. Also, speaking at the ceremony, the acting commissioner general at the Gambia Revenue Authority, Yankuba Darboe underscored the significance of the training, adding that WCO has been assisting the GRA in a number of areas, especially in the area of capacity-building. He explained that among the most recent, is the Human Resource (HR) Management through the West African Customs Administration Modernization (WACEM) project. "The GRA hosted a regional Training workshop on HR Management in February 2013 and since then the project has hosted a number of missions to assist GRA HR and Admin Unit in various areas. We are once again very pleased to be associated with the WCO in hosting this very essential and timely training workshop on leadership and management development, under the capacity- building committee's customs, capacity enhancement in Sub-Saharan Africa Project (CCEA-SSA Project)". The World Bank funded programme, he added, focuses mainly on leadership and management development, training and e-learning, on the integration of existing and new e-learning modules that are relevant to the 21st century customs, along side expert support in modernisation of training systems, which the GRA look forward to benefit from in the near future. According to the acting GRA boss, the training could not have come at a more appropriate time, given that the authority places high premium on capacity-building among its list of priorities, and more so in the area of leadership and management. As desired by the organisers, the participants are a mixed of experience staff. "We believe that at the end of the training workshop, participants would refresh and acquire new skills to improve their managerial and leadership role." This is obvious that this training would go a long way in filling the capacity gap, as well as improve the management of the authority's human and capital resources.
Noting that with the team of facilitators who are equipped with a wealth of knowledge and experience in leadership and management training, GRA's boss said, he is confident that by the end of the session, the authority would muster a cream of well-trained managers, who would use their skills to drive the authority in the right direction and also transfer the skills to others.
Rob Jansen, the Leadership and Management Development consultant, Trainer cum Coach at the capacity-building directorate,^ also spoke at the ceremony.