COMIFAC: Fight against poaching and the illegal trade in wildlife species: TWIX implementation is reviewed in Kigali
Kigali-Rwanda, 27-28 June 2019- The Chez Lando hotel hosted the “Sub-regional evaluation workshop on the implementation of the AFRICA_TWIX platform (Africa Trade in Wildlife Information eXchange) in the COMIFAC region. Organized by the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC) with the technical and financial assistance of TRAFFIC, the workshop was chaired by the COMIFAC Executive Secretary, Mr. Raymond NDOMBA NGOYE.
The meeting aimed to evaluate sub-regional collaboration through information sharing on the fight against illegal trafficking in wildlife and also assess the April 2017 Roadmap of the AFRICA_TWIX project.
Close to forty people took part in the deliberations, including Wildlife, Customs, Justice, Police and Gendarmerie officers from the following countries: Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Chad and Rwanda. Representatives of the following international and non-governmental organizations: OMD, INTERPOL, COMIFAC<TRAFFIC<WWF, and IUCN also took part in the deliberations.
official part of the meeting was punctuated by statements from the Director of the TRAFFIC’s Regional Office in Central Africa, Mr. Elie HAKIZUMWAMI, the key note speech of the COMIFAC Executive Secretary, delivered by Ms. Ariella KAGERUKA, Director of Tourism and Conservation who was representing the General Manger of the Rwandan Development Agency (RDB), the adoption of the agenda and a rundown of the workshop objectives.
There was a string of presentations on various topics such as:
- The illegal wildlife trade in the COMIFAC region;
- The state of anti-trafficking legislation and cross-border collaboration among the countries represented;
- The state of implementation of the roadmap 2017 of member countries of the platform (Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, CAR and DRC)
- Introducing the AFRICA_TWIX tool.
- A practical demonstration on how to use the AFRICA_TWIX platform;
- Law enforcement tools for the customs department.
The participants were then invited to form working groups to reflect on the following topics relating to the optimal functioning of the AFRICA_WIX tool:
- Strategies for updating the mailing list to reflect changes within the administrations of member countries:
- Strategies for collecting and uploading data to the database;
- Referrals of new members to the AFRICA-TWIX platform;
- Appointing a member to represent each country on the AFRICA-TWIX Advisory Committee
- Submitting at least three recommendations for improving the functioning of the AFRICA_TWIX platform.
The following recommendations were formulated at the close of the deliberations:
- Strengthen the capacities of law enforcement officers in the members countries to use the AFRICA-TWIX platform and various identification tools/guides:
- Publish and popularize the AFRICA-TWIX user and confidentiality guide.