Press Center | Freight Shipping Logistics News
A regional freight forwarders association has received $1 million to support a clearing agents training programme aimed at improving regional trade logistics. The Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Associations (Feaffa) Regional Executive Officer, John Mathenge, said the funds from the Nairobi-based..
A regional freight forwarders association has received $1 million to support a clearing agents training programme aimed at improving regional trade logistics.
The Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Associations (Feaffa) Regional Executive Officer, John Mathenge, said the funds from the Nairobi-based TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) will enhance the trade logistics and the investment climate in East Africa.
"TradeMark will be a key partner as we continue to provide leadership in driving integration on behalf of our members," he said during the signing of the partnership agreement.
TMEA is a donor-funded initiative to promote regional trade and economic integration in East Africa that works closely with governments, business, civil society and East Africa Community (EAC) institutions.
Mathenge said the financial support will enable Feaffa and the EAC Revenue Authorities expand the capacity of training facilities within the five EAC member States.
This support, he added, would help to hasten the attainment of the region’s goal of having at least two trained individuals from each clearing and forwarding company in the region.
The TMEA’s assistance will also enable Feaffa review the programme’s curriculum and training materials, and translate them into French for the benefit of French-speaking member countries.
"Support will be provided to all Feaffa national associations to secure more training facilities, and to facilitate meetings of the training program’s implementation oversight committee (The Curriculum Implementation Committee) for the next two years," said Mathenge.
Feaffa president, John Bosco Rusagara, said the funds would hasten the implementation of the training programme launched in 2007. The programme – East Africa Customs Freight Forwarding Practicing Certificate – was jointly developed between Feaffa and the revenue authorities.
The course seeks to equip potential and practicing agents with competencies required in customs and freight forwarding. To date, close to 2,000 clearing and forwarding agents have been trained.
And thanks to the positive influence of the training programme, revenue authorities in the region are keen to make this certificate mandatory for licensing clearing agents.
The clearing and forwarding agents are a key player in international trade, playing very critical role in the transport logistics chain. And given that more than 40 per cent of the business costs accruing to transport and logistics, the role of clearing agents become even more critical.
Feaffa recently launched their Code of Conduct that analysts say will promote ethical and efficient practices among clearing and forwarding professionals in the industry.
The association also plans to launch a simplified edition of the code of conduct – expected to enhance professionalism among the operators – in English, Kiswahili and French at border points across the region.
By John Oyuke
PARASTATAL heads who signed the Mombasa port community charter risk being sacked if their agencies do not deliver on the contents of the new entity. The charter signed between the government and the private sector aims at improving the movement of cargo from the port into hinterland