ontinuing Professional Development (CPD) training for customs agents and freight forwarders has started in Rwanda with a class of 40. Rwanda is the first country in East Africa Community (EAC) to conduct physical workshops on CPD Programme, which was launched officially this week.
While gracing the occasion, the Commissioner for Customs, Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) Felicien Mwumvaneza said, “We will continue to partner with the logistics sector players to identify and share information regarding additional areas that would require CPD training.”
Participants of the inaugural workshop were taken through Understanding the EAC CET 2022 amendments and Clarification of different legal notices published in the EAC gazette on 30th June 2022. Emmanuel Gahutu, and Viviane Umurungi facilitated the workshop which was moderated by the Rwanda Freight Forwarders Association (RWAFFA) and the Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Associations (FEAFFA). Mr. Gahutu has over 25 years of experience in Customs Valuations, Rules of Origin, and Customs Classifications while Ms. Viviane has immense experience in Tariffs and Valuations.
The development of the CPD is part of the larger EAC Logistics Skills enhancement Program supported by TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) to enhance the skills and competencies of agents for high-quality end-to-end service provision. This is expected to significantly reduce the inefficiencies in cargo movement along the corridors.
Rwanda Programme Manager of TMEA, David Butera who attended the launch lauded the growing capacity of clearing and freight forwarding professionals in Rwanda and the region as key to enhancing cross-border trade.
“The CPD Programme targets all industry players within the logistics sector in East Africa. I request Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) to continue supporting the program, especially, if possible, make it part of the requirements for licensing of agents in Rwanda,” Elias Baluku, Ag. Executive Director of FEAFFA told participants.
The National Curriculum Implementation Committee (NCIC) chairperson in Rwanda, Claudien Uzabakiliho, said that the logistics sector in Rwanda is emulating the professional conduct exhibited in other professions to enhance compliance among members.
Rwanda Freight Forwarders Association (RWAFFA) Vice Chair Julie Mutoni informed the gathering that RWAFFA has developed a one-year calendar of CPD activities running until June 2023. Uganda is set to hold the CPD workshops from November this year.
Before CPD was conceived, a Need Assessment (TNA) survey was carried out to assess the appropriateness of capacity-building interventions in addressing the needs and requirements of modern-day customs agents, freight forwarders, and warehousing operations from the perspective of employers, customers, and principals.
The study revealed that the logistics sector is very dynamic. An urgent mechanism to keep industry practitioners abreast with emerging trends in the supply chain was urgently needed. The study therefore proposed establishment of the CPD Training Programme to bridge the gap.