Arusha, Tanzania, 27th August 2020—Over 60 representatives from wildlife law enforcement and relevant agencies from across East Africa attended the virtual launch today of the mailing list of a Trade in Wildlife Information Exchange (TWIX) platform for the region.
A TWIX platform facilitates the exchange of information and promotes co-operation between law enforcement agencies responsible for combating illegal wildlife trade and implementing the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). "We are pleased to be part of this event and eager to work with TWIX," Tamrin Ali Said, CITES focal person, Zanzibar Department of Forestry. "I am excited about the Eastern Africa-TWIX, we look forward to being connected to the platform so that we can benefit from it" Moses Muhumuza’, Legal Manager at Uganda National Forestry Authority The new Eastern Africa-TWIX platform follows the successful piloting of TWIX systems in Africa, first in Central Africa (AFRICA-TWIX) followed by Southern Africa (SADC-TWIX). They were modelled on EU-TWIX, which has operated in European countries for 15 years. "This is a very exciting and potentially useful tool for combating illegal wildlife trade. As a prosecution counsel in ODPP Kenya, I see this as an avenue to assist us in effectively prosecuting wildlife related cases" Caroline Nyambura We appreciate and congratulate TRAFFIC under the support from USAID funded CONNECT project for developing the Eastern Africa-TWIX mailing list that will support wildlife law enforcement officers in the region to share information and collaborate in order to fight against illegal wildlife trade." Jean Baptiste Havugimana, EAC’s Director of Productive Sectors. The mandate for the establishment of the Eastern Africa-TWIX emanates from a WWF-TRAFFIC East Africa Timber Trade Stakeholders’ Forum held in 2016 and is in line with the East African Community's Strategy of 2017 to Combat Poaching and Illegal Trade and Trafficking of Wildlife and Wildlife Products. With funding from the USAID-funded Wildlife TRAPS and CONNECT projects of TRAFFIC and IUCN. To date, close to 100 officials have been nominated by their agencies to join the Eastern Africa-TWIX platform. It is against this background and to strengthen the implementation and use of an Eastern Africa-TWIX, that a mailing list which connects law enforcement officials from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda was launched today. “The launch of Eastern-Africa TWIX puts another major building block in building strong interagency regional collaboration in the African continent,” said Allan Mashalla, the East Africa Regional TWIX Co-ordinator based in Tanzania.