Use of AFRICA-TWIX promoted in Central African Republic
Bangui, Central African Republic, 2018—Last month, a national workshop was held in the Central African Republic to promote efficient co-operation in combating illegal wildlife trade through the use of AFRICA-TWIX (Africa Trade in Wildlife Information Exchange).
AFRICA-TWIX is an online tool developed to facilitate the exchange of information and co-operation between enforcement agencies in Central Africa.
Modelled on EU-TWIX, which has facilitated co-operation among enforcement officers in EU Member States since 2005, AFRICA-TWIX was launched in Douala, Cameroon, in February 2016. Both systems include a seizures database and secure communications platform for information exchange.
The four original countries connected through AFRICA-TWIX—Cameroon, Gabon, Republic of Congo, and Democratic Republic of Congo—were joined a year after its launch by the Central African Republic. Today the system connects more than 100 officials across the five countries.
Last month’s meeting was opened by Mr Barthelemy Kaimba, Chargé de Mission Chasse et Pêche, representing the Ministère de l'Environnement, du Développement Durable, des Eaux, Forêts, Chasse et Pêche (MEDDEFCP “Ministry of Environment, Sustainable Development, Water, Forests, Hunting and Fisheries”), and facilitated by Mr David Ouangando, the national co-ordinator of the AFRICA-TWIX Advisory Body.
Over 40 participants from various national and regional law enforcement agencies (Customs, Police, Gendarmerie, ICPO Interpol, Border Police, Judiciary) participated at the meeting in Bangui where they discussed how to enhance co-operation at the national level, and shared concerns and experiences.
Participants made 13 recommendations, in particular concerning strengthening the information exchange mechanism and on providing seizure data to the AFRICA-TWIX database.
The meeting was organised by MEDDEFCP in partnership with TRAFFIC under the patronage of Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC).
Financial support was provided by the Partnership against Poaching and Illegal Wildlife Trade in Africa and Asia, implemented by GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).