Setting up of Consultative at Customs in Madagascar

Competitiveness matters for Madagascar as it is ranked 132/140 with a below average score of 42.86/100 in the 2019 Global Competitiveness Index. This index was computed through multiple pillars including institutions, infrastructures, innovation capability etc. This weak competitiveness may stem from several roots. Among them, the institutional support of the customs of Madagascar.  In an effort to improve the services of the customs of Madagascar,  the department has embarked on strategic changes.  It is in this respect that the customs department reached out to Africa Rise towards supporting in engaging stakeholders to implement these changes.


Africa RISE provided expertise on this project in Madagascar to execute a diagnostic study carried out to define the steps required to implement the consultation framework in collaboration with the EDBM's PPD framework. The expected outcomes were: to ensure that the organisational frameworks are defined and implemented to operationalise the consultation framework and that the stakeholders are engaged via an ongoing consultation framework(s).


Many constraints to achievement of such a mechanism have been raised. These include amongst others the difficulty in reconciling contradictory interests, opinions contrary to the rules in force, opinions limiting the power of control of the customs, the lack of reactivity from parties involved, the interests; Divergent thoughts distrust and indifference of certain parties involved, the lack of power of conviction, the weak ability to manage meetings, poor perception. These are however regular issues faced in public private dialogue and engagement.


The Economic Development Board of Madagascar (EDBM) is one of the relevant stakeholders for implementing the competitiveness improvement agenda. EDBM ensures mainly investment promotion and serves as platform of Public Private Dialog (PPD) for policy matters.  The work of the consultant has focused on the best means for the customs to achieve best results in terms of stakeholders engagement. A thorough analysis and interviews were conducted by our consultants.  It was found that dialogue and the coordination exist within the framework of the customs and they are very useful.  From the analysis and diagnosis of information collected by the team of the customs, 70% of respondents affirmed that the dialogue is very useful.  Many stakeholders are already involved and practicing dialogue and coordination in the execution of their work. As such, the premises of coordination exist within the different entities of the DGD and it is enough to consolidate them. This would be in the form of a more formal framework of coordination within customs.  By formalization it is being hoped that there will be the creation of a technical cell dedicated to monitoring the activities and administrative operations of the constructive dialogue mechanism.


 It is worth noting that, a massive campaign of strengthening capacities is underway under the reforms being undertaken by customs .  Consultants have also identified the stakeholders that could be involved in the dialogue mechanism with the customs.  There is merit in the formalization of the structure with respect to parties public/private within their committee of pilotage, the holding of a periodic meeting oriented towards the facilitation of exchanges, the improf port and customs passages, the coordination of stakeholders.