The Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Associations (FEAFFA) has received a USD 3.5 million grant from TradeMark East Africa to raise the capacity of logistics sector operators.
The 4-year programme is aimed at upskilling customs agents, freight forwarders and warehouse operators across East Africa.
The grant was signed at the sidelines of the third Global Logistics Convention, a two-day at the Kigali International Convention Centre.
TMEA Board Member Ms. Patricia Ithau said they are promoting logistics platforms in various countries in order to facilitate public-private sector dialogue to improve logistics. “These initiatives aim at developing stronger regional integration and cooperation to reduce Non-tariff barriers,” she said.
Denis Karera, Vice-Chairperson of the East African Business Council, stressed the need to eliminate corruption as it is playing a critical role in hampering trade.
A market study conducted by TradeMark East Africa in 2016 found that there was a lack of capacity building in the transport and logistics sector throughout the EAC region. The study established that clearing and forwarding agents had little access to changes in regulations and new technologies adopted by relevant government bodies.
This compelled shippers to understand the clearing process, an additional skill outside their core area of business. It also established there were limited formal training opportunities in warehousing, resulting in warehouse functionaries learning the basics on the job. Besides, the few existing logistics capacity building programs are provided in large cities; and this locks out operators at far flung regional economic centres and at major border posts to access them.
The programme will develop a continuous professional development (CPD) program that will keep practitioners abreast with emerging trends in the industry. Support domestication of the regional model bill on self-regulation for customs agents and freight forwarders in EAC Partner States.
READ: Why a Regional Clearing Agents Framework will Facilitate Free Trade in EAC
The theme of this year’s convention is “Logistics; the engine of economic growth and development”. Which aims to offer an opportunity for professionals in the transport and freight logistics sector from all over the world to share best practices, engage with transport and logistics policy makers, interact with a wide range of stakeholders as well as learn emerging trends, developments, opportunities and threats to the sector across the globe.
The Convention has been held successfully in the last two years, first in Tanzania in the year 2017 and last year in Kampala, Uganda. The summit is hosted by Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Associations members in the respective East African Partner States.