ontinuing Professional Development (CPD) training program for freight forwarders which was to be launched last week had been pushed to 10thMarch in Uganda for piloting before it is rolled out in other countries.
The Commissioner General in Charge of Uganda Revenue Authority will be the chief guest. The Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Associations (FEAFFA) is piloting the project jointly with URA.
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.
Uganda is one the countries selected to pilot the program under the framework of the National Curriculum Implementation Committees (NCICs). Rwanda is also expected to kickstart CPD piloting later this year. Their experiences are expected to inform rollout of the program in other countries in the region.
In order 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.
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.