Burundi successfully graduated 91 trainees who completed the mandatory East Africa Customs and Freight Forwarding Practicing Certificate (EACFFPC) curriculum for freight forwarders.
The graduation ceremony took place at La Détente Hotel in Bujumbura, Burundi, and was presided over by Mr. Jean Claude MANIRAKIZA, the Commissioner General of the Burundi Revenue Authority (OBR).
During the graduation ceremony, Mr. MANIRAKIZA commended the collaboration between the government and the private sector for their joint efforts in promoting professionalism and adherence to regulations within the logistics industry in Burundi and the wider East African Community (EAC) region.
In his remarks, Mr. Philippe Ndikumana, the President of the Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Associations (FEAFFA), informed the gathering that a market survey had been conducted in 2019 to gather feedback from stakeholders before the EACFFPC curriculum was updated. He told the graduands that FEAFFA had developed more facilities to support the professionalization of the industry including an online learning portal and a continuing professional development program for customs agents and freight forwarders. Mr. Ndikumana added that the industry was currently advocating for the enactment of self-regulation bills in each of the EAC’s partner states to consolidate all efforts made in professionalizing the clearing and freight forwarding industry.
“The updated EACFFPC Curriculum and the CPD program have already been launched in Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda, and we anticipate other countries, including Burundi, to follow suit. We are planning to pilot the eLearning portal later this year.” Said Mr. Ndikumana.
Notable attendees at the graduation included Melchior BARANTANDIKIYE from Central Corridor, officials from the Ministry of East Africa Community Affairs, Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Defense, Mr. Christian Nibasumba, the Country Manager of TradeMark Africa (TMA), Floribert Nzoyihera, the Chairman of Association Burundaise des Agences en Douane et Transitaires (ABADT), members of the National Curriculum Implementation Committee (NCIC), and trainers of the EACFFPC program in Burundi.
The EACFFPC is a mandatory training program for all Customs Agents and is jointly implemented by the EAC directorate of Customs, the East Africa Revenue Authorities (EARAs), and national associations of the freight forwarding industry affiliated with FEAFFA. The Curriculum Implementation Committee (CIC), a tripartite body comprising representatives from the freight forwarding industry, customs administrations, and the EAC directorate of customs, oversees the program’s implementation in the EAC region.
The EACFFPC training is open to individuals already engaged in or planning to join the clearing and forwarding industry across East Africa. It equips them with the necessary knowledge and skills required to provide quality and competitive services to their clients.
Since its inception in 2007, over 8,000 customs agents and freight forwarders have graduated from the program in the region.
Plans are underway to introduce a diploma program that would allow for further progression and the acquisition of global logistics competencies crucial for trade under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
TradeMark Africa (TMA) has been actively supporting the implementation of this program since 2011.
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