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Desiderio Consultants Ltd. is a think tank and a network of independent professional international development consultants established to promote and influence customs & trade-related policies in African nations to achieve trade facilitation reforms aimed at improving international and regional trade
Creativity, Commitment to Excellence, Results

About us

Our mission is to drive Africa's development from within.

According to the Kenyan economist James Shikwati, Africa's development has to come from inside. If you think it, every growth path starts from inside. This is a principle of biology that applies to everything, also to economic growth, as the endogenous growth theory maintains.

Headquartered in Nairobi, in one of the most dynamic and multi-ethnic metropolis in Africa, Desiderio Consultants aims at improving customs, trade and transport policies, regulation or procedures in the Continent in order to reduce trade and transport costs and therefore enhance Africa's trade capacity.

For each project, we assemble teams of experts chosen from our network of well-known and reputable specialists, all of them with a strong working experience in Africa and shared visions in delivering results.

What unites us is the belief that the Africa’s true wealth lies in its diversity. For this reason, at Desiderio Consultants we do not advocate “one-size fits all” methods, nor believe in the transplant of solutions adopted elsewhere. In everything we do, we adopt flexibility, adaptability and creativity, shaping the solutions we develop to meet the specific needs of African nations.

At the same time, we believe into the value of collaboration and of working in strict alignment with both the beneficiaries of the projects we implement and the development partners. This is what makes us strong. As a Swahili proverb says: Umoja ni nguvu, utengano ni udhaifu” (united we stand, divided we fall).

Desiderio Consultants Ltd. is a think tank and a network of independent international development consultants established to promote and influence customs & trade-related policies in African nations to achieve trade facilitation reforms aimed at improving international and regional trade. We do this through high-quality research & analysis, advocacy, and strategic consultancy services. We participate in trade facilitation, economic integration, customs modernisation/cooperation and capacity building programs and conduct feasibility studies, gap analysis and assessment reports with regard to customs policies, regulation and procedures, providing recommendations aimed at supporting implementation of measures for simplifying and facilitating trade on behalf of international, regional or national institutions or bodies.

Our main experts:


Danilo Desiderio, CEO, is a lawyer specialised in customs and international trade law, a World Bank's customs and trade consultant and a customs and trade expert with over 20 years of experience in the field of trade and transport facilitation, customs modernisation, integrated border management, international trade and export promotion. Author of many publications in the customs field, he worked with various international development finance institutions and advised different governments and Regional Economic Communities, especially in Africa, in the areas of customs and international trade policy. The full Danilo's biography is at the bottom of this page (read more here).


Wangari Karanja, business support partner and executive assistant, acts as representative of the company, liaising with individuals and organisations, coordinating public relations activities and supporting the CEO in the operations management of Desiderio Consultants Ltd. Her duties include research, communications, correspondence, and office management.


Antony Munguti, is an ICT expert specialised in the design and implementation of measures aimed at streamlining and simplifying customs and other border agencies' IT procedures. Antony worked in Botswana, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia and his experience includes the development of the IT architectural design for One Stop Border Posts' (OSBPs) and the implementation of Single Window systems for harmonising and standardising the procedures of Customs and other cross-border regulatory agencies.

Denis Mahaja is a financial analist, a registered tax agent in Kenya, tax adviser and expert in financial auditing and company registration and incorporation. Holder of a Certificate in Business Management and Project Management issued by the Kenya Institute of Management, Denis covered many assignments as expert in business strategies and as a trainer in tax planning, assisting companies willing to settle in Africa in the development of a strategy for reducing the tax burden and mitigating tax risks. More info on the Denis' activity is on


Desiderio Consultants Ltd. co-operates and works in close collaboration with a number of law firms, customs brokers, customs consultants and other professionals all over the world.

Danilo Desiderio, biography

After graduated in law from the University of Salerno in 1999, and completed the apprenticeship in law, Danilo was admitted to bar in 2003, starting to practice as international contract lawyer and customs attorney. However, it was a brief journey in Senegal in 2000 that changed his life and his perspective about work and what he wanted to achieve in his career. Once back to Italy, he attended a post-graduate course in Finance Management from November 2001 to May 2002 which was followed by a 6-months internship at the Italian Trade Agency (ITA), a government agency dealing with promotion of international trade and providing support to firms in selling their products overseas. Danilo asked to be assigned to the Special Project Area of the Department of Promotion and Cooperation, which was in charge of developing cooperation initiatives and promoting trade exchanges with Arab and African sub-Saharan countries. This was a precious occasion for understanding the main trade characteristics and the opportunities offered by such economies, with their needs in terms of institutional strengthening and capacity building.
In March 2003, Danilo was selected by ITA as tutor and listener of the “CORCE”, Master’s Degree in International Trade, one of the most prestigious masters in international trade in Italy, an occasion for further deepening his knowledge and understanding of policies, rules and practices related to international trade. This assignment was followed by a contract as expert in strategies for internationalisation of enterprises/export promotion, aimed at providing support to Italian companies in the customs field. Danilo was subsequently designated as trainer for the ICE Faculty, teaching still today in courses for entrepreneurs organised by the ITA agency on customs regulation & procedures, transport regulation, international contracts and other key issues related to international trade.

In December 2003, the Italian Council of Customs Brokers (CNSD) hired Danilo as consultant, initially for conducting surveys, comparative studies and researches within the customs and international trade field, and subsequently for providing legal and strategic advice to the President. This was one of the most profitable and rewarding experiences in his life, because he learned a lot about customs regulation, procedures and practice, thanks to the polyhedric and hyperactive CNSD President, Mr. Giovanni de Mari, who acted as a mentor for Danilo.
From March 2004 to October 2004 Danilo embarked on a trade expert assignment at the Euro Info Centre Naples, Special Agency for International Activities of the Chamber of Commerce of Naples, where he assisted local enterprises in accessing to EU, national and local programs and projects aimed to promote their expansion abroad. In January 2004 he was contracted by the Italian Cabinet of Ministers (Department for European Policies), for conducting some comparative analysis to identify gaps in the tax and customs legislation and regulation of countries candidate to the EU membership, in order to design Twinning programs aimed at supporting such countries in their process of approximation/alignment with the EU legislation to be submitted to the EU Commission for funding.

In October 2005 Danilo won a scholarship from the Italian Ministry for Manufacturing Activities (MAP) for a post-graduate course of specialisation for experts in policies of industrial development in Balkans organised by Informest, an agency for development and international economic cooperation participated by the MAP, carrying out an internship at the Observatory on Logistics of the Regional Government of Veneto. Posted in Belgrade, Serbia, he conducted a market research on the road haulage, by identifying the main strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and risks concerning the development of transport and logistics services and facilities in this country.

In March 2006 Danilo was hired as short term expert by an international consultancy firm for an EuropeAid-funded project in Algeria with the Customs Department, within a programme of modernisation and assistance to the Administrative Reforms in Algeria, for optimising the tariff quotas management system introduced by the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement EU-Algeria.

From January to May 2007, Danilo served as consultant at CONFIAD Pan-European Network (European Confederation of Customs Agents), in Brussels,
as member of the Steering Committee for the modernisation of the Community Customs Code, where he had the task to analyse the draft new Customs Code of the European Union and prepare amendments to such a text on sensitive issues for the customs broker's profession, to be submitted to the EU Commission. From May to December 2009 Danilo was nominated as a member of a CONFIAD sub-Committee charged with the task to prepare a Quality Charter for EU customs representatives and of a Code of Conduct for the members of the Confederation.

In June 2007, until April 2008, Danilo worked as short term expert for the Italian Ministry for International Trade (MIT) within a Twinning Program of support to the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Trade, with the task to develop the legal and technical framework for the adoption of an electronic “Single Window” for submission and processing of data and documents related to international trade transactions. Subsequently, the Institute for Industrial Promotion (IPI), a government agency participated by the MIT charged with the task to promote the development of the industrial sector (now dismissed), hired Danilo to serve as a consultant in its "Twinning project" Unit, for designing projects of technical assistance aimed to support public administrations of North Africa and Middle East countries in boosting international trade by increasing opportunities of cooperation with Italian companies.
In February 2010 Danilo was appointed by the MIT as member of the National Committee on Trade Facilitation, to provide support to the Italian government as a member of a team of experts from the public and private sector chartered to develop and recommend trade facilitation measures aiming to simplify, standardise and harmonise trade documents and processes, reduce technical barriers to trade, transaction costs for traders and improve border crossing procedures in Italy.
In June 2019 Danilo established Desiderio Consultants Limited, a company headquartered in Nairobi which provides consultancy in the area of international development, with particular regard to trade facilitation and customs modernisation.
Author of 6 books and of more than 100 articles on customs and trade topics published on academic journals, magazines and newspapers, trainer at several Universities, academic institutions, professional bodies and associations, over the years Danilo has been working to projects abroad with many donors such as the African Development Bank, World Bank, United Nations, Europe Aid, USAID, GIZ, covering from time to time the roles of Trade and Transport Facilitation expert, Transport and Transit facilitation expert, Customs expert, Customs policy expert, Rules of Origin expert, Trade Expert, Regional Integration expert, One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) legislation specialist and Team Leader. With his experience, he helped many governments in Africa to modernize customs regulations and procedures, develop and fast-track the operationalisation of OSBPs, reduce trade barriers and organise efficient border procedures at the land borders, seaports, within dry ports and along international road corridors, supporting many countries in the process of alignment of their legislation/regulation to international and regional agreements, as well as to international standards and best practice.
Training on rules of origin to Seychelles Customs, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Industry in Seychelles (14 to 18 March 2022)
Khartoum, meeting with the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of Sudan, 7 October 2021
Nairobi, meeting with the Cabinet Secretary of the National Treasury and Finance of Kenya and the Horn of Africa Secretariat, 11 June 2021
Seme-Krakè One Stop Border Post, Nigeria/Benin (2019)
Workshop Lomé ced 2019
Trade and border procedures workshop within the ECOWAS Region, Lomé (Togo), 9 December 2019

View Danilo Desiderio's profile on LinkedIn


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Desiderio Consultants Ltd., 46, Rhapta Road, Westlands, Nairobi (KENYA)