The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) says its objective of creating an inter-generational exchange among customs officers is in line with the World Customs Organisation’s (WCO) agenda to place younger generation at the heart of global customs transformation.
The position was espoused by the Principal Revenue Officer at the Customs Laboratory, Samuel Akrofi, stated at a forum for Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) to observe the 2023 International Customs Day.
According to him, the inter-generational exchange would help to collectively harness the strengths of the older and younger generations of customs officers.
Mr Akrofi noted that the first band of customs officers were the old and experienced officers who had tacit knowledge through the building of competence, skills and expertise over the years.
The WCO as part of the agenda has prescribed that customs administrations around the world have to be intentional about nurturing the younger generation to take up the mandate of promoting security, international trade and revenue collection.
He added that the young officers were technology-savvy, energetic, ambitious and environmentally conscious but lacked tacit knowledge.
He said it was, therefore, necessary for the systematic transfer of knowledge so that mistakes that had been made in the past were not repeated.
Mr Akrofi said it had become more crucial for the capacities of the younger generation of officers to be nurtured in line with newer requirements in customs administration.
He added that the responsibilities of customs administration had evolved making security and protection of the environment and society, a core of it due to global trends of increased awareness of sustainability and the war on terror.
The Principal Revenue Officer further noted that it had become incumbent on customs administrations to build capacities along the lines of detecting and mitigating threats to security as well as environmental and social sustainability.
He stated that the GRA Customs Division had been building the capacity of its staff on the ‘SAFE’ Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade, as well as the WCO Programme Global Shield, the Strategic Trade Control Enforcement Programme and other programmes on Illicit Financial Flows among others.
He said the WCO also require customs administrations within West and Central Africa to make use of big data, neural networks and artificial intelligence, in respect of growing threats of crime and terrorism in the region.