Uganda graduated a total of 194 freight forwarding practitioners with the East Africa Customs and Freight Forwarding Practicing Certificate (EACFFPC) Programme, as the region strives to professionalize the industry. The graduates mainly underwent training at Jinja and Malaba and Mutukula training centers.
The 12th graduation ceremony, which was held at Mestil Hotel in Kampala, was presided over by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Commissioner of Customs Mr. Abel Kagumire.
Speaking during the graduation, Mr. Kagumire underscored the need for the logisticians in Uganda and the region to embrace the existing training opportunities and enhance their efficiency while handling cargo.
The East Africa Community (EAC) Secretariat was represented by Mr. Stephen Analo, the Principal Customs Officer, Capacity Building. Mr. Analo thanked the Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Associations (FEAFFA) and the East African Revenue Authorities (EARAs) for their efforts and collaboration in entrenching professionalism within the transport and logistics sector.
In his remarks, Mr. Roy Mwanthi, the Secretary-General of the FEAFFA board, challenged the industry at large to embrace technology as a means of providing flexible, easily accessible, and affordable learning opportunities to the Customs Agents and Freight Forwarders in East Africa.
“FEAFFA is in the process of piloting the Continuing Professional Development Programme (CPD) Programme, to keep industry practitioners abreast with the dynamics of the industry”. Mr. Roy added. He was speaking on behalf of FEAFFA president Mr. Fred Seka who represented the federation at a different function.
Also present during the graduation was Dr. Merian Sebunya from the National Logistics Platform (NLP), T, Mr. Charles Mwembebezi from the Uganda Freight Forwarders Association (UFFA) and Mr. Hussein Kiddedde, the immediate former Chairperson, UFFA. Mr. Elias Rwamanyonyi Baluku, the Ag. Executive Director was also present at the event.
For the first time since its launch in 2007, the 16th intake of the EACFFPC Programme in Uganda, was fully trained online, a clear indication of how the industry is determined to embrace technology amid the industry dynamics.
The EACFFPC Programme was recently recognized as the regional training Programme for freight forwarders in the EAC region. The announcement was made during the 39th meeting of the Sectoral Council on Trade, Industry, Finance, and Investment last year in Arusha.
The training Programme is jointly implemented by the EAC directorate of Customs, the East Africa Revenue Authorities (EARAs), and the national associations of the freight forwarding industry affiliated with FEAFFA.
So far, Uganda and Kenya have rolled out the training of customs agents and freight forwarders under the new curriculum. Other countries including Tanzania, Burundi, and Rwanda are preparing to roll out the same.
Plans to start a diploma program are in advanced stages to create room for progression and acquisition of global logistics competencies critical for trade under Africa Continental Free Trade (AfCFTA). The recent launch of the FIATA training Programme in Uganda is also expected to augment the EACFFPC that has since 2007 equipped freight forwarders with the necessary knowledge and skills and enhance the efficiency in service delivery by significantly reducing the accuracy of customs declarations. Over &000 customs agents and freight forwarders have so far graduated and qualified from the program in the region.
Trademark East Africa (TMEA) has been at the forefront in supporting the implementation of this program in the region since 2011.