ndustry stakeholders held a consultative workshop to begin engagement meetings on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program before piloting that will start in Uganda in March this year. This is to give all players a chance to share their final inputs and mobilize them to take part in the piloting when it begins.
The meeting was held in Kampala on 10th March 2021 and in attendance were representatives from East Africa Community (EAC), Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), the Federation of East African Freight Forwarders (FEAFFA) and Trademark East Africa (TMEA). Other stakeholders present included representatives from the customs clearing and freight forwarding industry in Uganda.
EAC was represented by Mr. Stephen Analo, Principal Customs Officer – capacity building at the EAC directorate of customs. Said he; “Limitations of knowledge is one cause of loss of revenue by our countries or even traders through delays and misinformation.”
Damali Ssali, TMEA Ag. Country Director in Uganda who said that the new skills will be gained through the CPD program which will be key in addressing the inefficiencies in logistics service delivery and significantly contribute to reduce the high cost of transport in EAC.
“These skills gained through the CPD program will develop personal qualities necessary for the execution of professional and technical duties of customs agents, freight forwarders and logisticians.” Said Mr. John Mathenge, technical advisor to the FEAFFA board.
Piloting will begin with inaugural classes set to begin before the end of March. The CPD program is part of the larger East African Community Logistics skills enhancement programme supported by USAID and Dutch government through Trademark East Africa (TMEA) in partnership with FEAFFA.
Establishment of the CPD program was one way of promoting professionalism and compliance to rules and regulations among customs agents and freight forwarders in the EAC region, as per the resolutions of the EACFFPC High Level Policy Meeting of February 2019 in Zanzibar.
The Curriculum Implementation Committee (CIC) selected Uganda and Rwanda to pilot the program under the framework of the National Curriculum Implementation Committees (NCICs). We expect their experiences to inform rollout of the program in other countries in the region.
To identify the training needs of the industry, a market survey was conducted by a consultant with support from TMEA. This has enabled FEAFFA and the industry to identify the market needs and come up with an updated curriculum that is aligned to real labour market needs and opportunities in the freight forwarding operating environment as well as responding to needs of freight forwarding businesses and those of other stakeholders.
The TNA survey also assessed the appropriateness of the EACFFPC in addressing the needs and requirements of modern-day customs agents, freight forwarders and warehousing operations from the perspective of the employers, customers and principals.
The new training curriculum will ensure that EACFFPC graduates are kept technically and professionally updated through the introduction of the CPD program. The CPD will test three major components; technical competencies, emerging issues and matters on leadership and personal development.