Experts call for digitalisation, e-connectivity in post-Covid world during first Webb Fontaine webinar bringing global specialists together to support governments and facilitate knowledge sharing

Content provided by APO Group. CNBC Africa provides content from APO Group as a service to its readers, but does not edit the articles it publishes. CNBC Africa is not responsible for the content provided by APO Group.

The global coronavirus pandemic caused overnight challenges for governments around the world adapting to the impacts on supply chains and goods clearances. Now, a group of supply chain and Customs experts have come together virtually to underline the importance of digitalisation as the world starts its recovery in a post COVID-19 world.

The first in a series of webinars from Webb Fontaine (www.WebbFontaine.com), one of the leading providers of Customs and trade solutions to governments worldwide, welcomed more than 400 delegates logging in from around the world to hear from a panel of experts. The ThinkTank webinar series has brought experts together in one space with a purpose of knowledge and ideas sharing.

The “Digitalisation of Trade and Revenue in Disaster Environments” webinars delved deep into key themes such as supply chain and revenue collection, in the current trade facilitation ecosystem. Held in both English and French, the sessions were interactive with live polls and questions asked by delegates throughout, helping to bring in even more ideas to the webinar.

The online discussions featured insights from global trade experts including Frank Ferguson, Former Director General of the Montserrat Customs & Revenue Service (MCRS); Stephen Adekunle Oloyede, Comptroller Risk Management – Nigeria Customs Service; Apeh Fateh, Assistant Comptroller ICT & Head of Implementation Team for Nigeria Customs Service; Tapio Naula, VP – Trade Facilitation Program at ASYAD Group; Dr. Jawwad Agha, Ex. Head of Customs Administration, FBR, Pakistan; Mr. Ahmed Al Khatab, Commissioner Assistant for Customs & Logistics at Aqaba Special Economic Zone (ASEZA); Major Raouf Malehossou, Head of Institutional Reforms, Benin Customs; Eric AKOUTE, Director Research and Investment – APIEX (Investment and Export Promotion Agency), Benin; and Serge Manouan , Director General – GUCE (Foreign Trade Single Window) Côte d’Ivoire.

The panel was moderated by Michel Zarnowiecki, Director of Institutional Reforms at Webb Fontaine and formerly Senior Regional Coordinator for Customs and Border Affairs at the World Bank, and also saw contributions from Webb Fontaine experts: Pascal Minvielle, Executive Director of Webb Fontaine Group; Ope Babalola, Managing Director of Webb Fontaine Nigeria; and Ara Shamirzayan, Director of IT Development and Research, Webb Fontaine Group.

Real life examples and recommendations on how to ensure business continuity and secure contingency deliveries were shared by the panellists with delegates, who also had an opportunity to ask questions in real time. A number of polls were also conducted, which saw an overwhelmingly positive response to the request of a simplified import process, subject to reinforced ex-post compliance checks. 

Commenting on the insights shared, Michel Zarnowiecki said: “The panel highlighted the importance of digitalisation, not only for individual countries, but also as part of the broader multilateral framework and the regional and international surroundings. Digitalisation is a pre-requisite, but it must be combined with practices by both customs and the private sector to enable it, process-wise. 

“While 80 per cent of international cargo movement is by sea, regional connectivity is usually by road, hence the need to ensure, among other issues, digitalised interface for transit and TIR. There is a strong requirement for unification of processes, not only in the regional environment, but also for international transactions.”

He added: “While the situation requires immediate action, now may also be the opportunity to implement actions and systems that have been recommended in the past. The opportunity for reforms is staring at us and there is no escape from it anymore.”

Webb Fontaine are soon to release an overview paper summarising the key takeaways and learnings from the webinar, while highlights are available to watch on the Webb Fontaine LinkedIn (https://bit.ly/3eyaNfL) platform, where future webinar topics will also be announced.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Webb Fontaine.

About Webb Fontaine: Trusted by governments globally, Webb Fontaine (www.WebbFontaine.com) provides industry wide solutions to accelerate trade development and modernization. The company uses unique technology including Artificial Intelligence to enable countries to emerge as leaders in the future of trade.

Knowledge transfer is at the core of Webb Fontaine; comprising a team of experts who work across the world, empowering local communities and governments.

As an industry leader with the largest R&D centres in the industry, Webb Fontaine is constantly developing international trade practices connecting countries, borders and people.

For more information visit www.WebbFontaine.com.

Media filesDownload logo

Related Content

Zindzi Mandela dies aged 59

Zindzi Mandela - the daughter of Nelson and Winnie Mandela - died in the early hours of July 13 in a Johannesburg...

How Rwanda’s coffee industry plans to recover from COVID-19 induced disruptions

Rwanda’s coffee prices have taken a hit on the international global market as the effects on the supply chains take their toll on agriculture exports, but could they rebound back soon? Uwera Robinah, International and Regional Market Development Specialist at the National Agriculture Export Board joins CNBC Africa for more.

South African rand firms as dollar wobble lifts emerging currencies

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand firmed early on Monday, helped by increased risk appetite as investors bet again on a global...

Zindzi Mandela, daughter of Nelson Mandela, has died – ANC spokesman

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Zindzi Mandela, daughter of former South African president and liberation hero Nelson Mandela, has died, the spokesman of the...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC AFRICA delivered to your inbox

More from CNBC Africa

Zindzi Mandela dies aged 59

Zindzi Mandela - the daughter of Nelson and Winnie Mandela - died in the early hours of July 13 in a Johannesburg...

How Rwanda’s coffee industry plans to recover from COVID-19 induced disruptions

Rwanda’s coffee prices have taken a hit on the international global market as the effects on the supply chains take their toll on agriculture exports, but could they rebound back soon? Uwera Robinah, International and Regional Market Development Specialist at the National Agriculture Export Board joins CNBC Africa for more.

South African rand firms as dollar wobble lifts emerging currencies

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand firmed early on Monday, helped by increased risk appetite as investors bet again on a global...

Zindzi Mandela, daughter of Nelson Mandela, has died – ANC spokesman

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Zindzi Mandela, daughter of former South African president and liberation hero Nelson Mandela, has died, the spokesman of the...

Partner Content

Tata International concludes a securitization transaction for its African Subsidiaries

UAE financial centers act as a gateway to benefit African businesses GCC, July 13th, 2020: Tata International Limited (TIL)...

Uber launches its largest region-wide initiative in partnership with Mastercard

Uber, in partnership with Mastercard to provide 120,000 free trips to frontline workers in MEA, including South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ivory Coast...

Trending Now

Ivory Coast vice president resigns, days after PM’s death

ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Ivory Coast’s Vice President Daniel Kablan Duncan has resigned, President Alassane Ouattara’s office said on Monday.

South African retail group TFG to buy Jet assets from Edcon

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - The Foschini Group (TFG) is set to buy 371 stores and selected assets of Jet for 480 million rand...

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s tribute to Zindzi Mandela

“Zindzi Mandela was a household name nationally and internationally, who during our years of struggle brought home the inhumanity of the apartheid system and the unshakeable resolve of our fight for freedom.

Counting the burials: African nations scramble to track COVID-19

Only eight countries in Africa - Algeria, Cape Verde, Djibouti, Egypt, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, and South Africa - record more than 75% of deaths, according to the United Nations.
- Advertisement -