ssociation Burundaise Des Agences en Douane et Transitaires (ABADT – the national association of freight forwarders in Burundi) and Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association (KIFWA) recently held national elections in which they retained top officials.
Mr. Philippe Ndikumana retained his position as the president of ABADT while Mr. Roy Mwanthi retained his position as national chairman of KIFWA. Mr. Robinson Kilonzo was elected branch chair for Nairobi and Mr. Abud Jamal for Mombasa.
The new officials have pledged to work with all relevant industry stakeholders in pursuing the agenda of professionalizing the customs freight and logistics industry in their respective countries and the region at large. Some of the key initiatives being driven at the national levels include capacity building of agents through training and the drive to enact the national self-regulation bills for customs agents among the partners states of EAC.
ABADT and KIFWA are among the six members of the Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Associations (FEAFFA), the umbrella body of customs agents and freight forwarders in East Africa. Other FEAFFA members are Zanzibar Freight Forwarders Bureau (ZFB), Uganda Freight Forwarders Association (UFFA), Tanzania Freight Forwarders association (TAFFA) and Rwanda Freight Forwarders Association (RWAFFA).
The Federation aims at promoting a professional freight logistics industry for trade facilitation and regional economic growth. This is achieved through a partnership with key industry stakeholders key among them the EAC directorate of customs, East Africa Revenue Authorities (EARAs). Other stakeholders include the TradeMark East Africa (TMEA), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Commonwealth Secretariat (COMSEC), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Africa Economic Research Consortium (AERC) among others.
Currently, FEAFFA with support from TMEA is implementing the EAC Logistics Sector Skills Enhancement Program. Key activities under this program is updating the East Africa Customs and Freight Forwarding Practicing Certificate (EACFFPC) curriculum, Development of revised training materials and a trainers’ guide, Enhancement of FEAFFA eLearning Portal and the introduction of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program in East Africa. The program also supports enactment of self-regulation laws to govern the affairs of customs clearing agents in all EAC countries.
The East African Customs and Freight Forwarding Practicing Certificate (EACFFPC) is a joint regional training program of the East African Revenue Authorities, National associations of the Freight Forwarding industry, the EAC Directorate of Customs and FEAFFA. It aims at equipping practicing or prospective custom agents and freight forwarders with requisite skills and competencies in customs and freight forwarding. Its implementation started in 2006 and over 6000 have graduated since.