enya and Burundi became the first countries to adopt a new freight forwarders curriculum after stakeholders’ validation exercise that took place yesterday. The meeting was held virtually because of a new bite of COVID-19 pandemic as the world grapples with a second wave of infections.
In Burundi, stakeholders included representatives from transporters associations, clearing agents, ministry of commerce, chamber of commerce, previous graduates of the East African Customs and Freight Forwarding Certificate (EACFFPC) program in Burundi among others.
In Kenya, the virtual meeting was attended by representatives from Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), Kenya Airways Authority (KAA), KENTRADE, Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA), Customs and border control department, Kenya School of Revenue Administration (KESRA), Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association (KIFWA) secretariat, clearing agents, Kenya transporters Association (KTA), Shippers Council of Eastern Africa (SCEA), Kenya Ship Agents Association (KSAA), Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), Small Traders Association among others.
Rwanda and Uganda will conduct their validation today with Tanzania’s planned before the end of the week.
Stakeholder validation is a key procedure and a normal standard in curriculum development and accreditation, after which the Curriculum Implementation committee (CIC) will take over the process.
In February 2021, the National Curriculum implementation Committees (NCICs) in all the East Africa Community (EAC) countries gave their input on the curriculum. NCIC members provided their technical input on the updated curriculum.
The new curriculum is a competence based one and will offer both certificate and Diploma programs; with additional Modules including Warehousing, Communication skills, Continuing Professional Development (CPD), Practical Experience among other areas.
The Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Associations (FEAFFA), the umbrella body of clearing agents, in collaboration with other industry stakeholders is coordinating validation exercise in close collaboration with the nationals associations of customs agents, Training institutions of revenue authorities in East Africa and other key representative of clearing and freight forwarding industry in the region.
The updating of the curriculum for freight forwarders is part of the larger East African Community Logistics skills enhancement programme supported by the Dutch government through Trademark East Africa (TMEA).
A baseline survey conducted by TMEA assessed the appropriateness of the East Africa Customs and Freight Forwarding Practicing Certificate (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.
Other areas of focus were on bench marking the curriculum in its current form with other professional training and capacity building initiatives in other regions.
The curriculum update is building on the existing EACFFPC program by introducing a higher level of learning.
Since 2007, when the EACFFPC training programme was started, over 6000 customs agents and freight forwarders have qualified from the program in the region.
TMEA has been supporting the implementation of this programme since 2011 to equip agents with desirable competencies in the discharge of their functions in order to enhance compliance, professionalism and facilitate trade.