Fesarta has big plans in place for 2018 and beyond
Much has happened at the Federation of East and Southern African Road Transport Associations (Fesarta) since Barney Curtis’s tenure at the helm came to an end in February 2015, after nearly two decades, and I took over the reins as executive director in May 2015.
Despite many challenges, Fesarta has made great strides and some major successes have been achieved. As I am also the owner-director of Transport Logistics Consultants (TLC) – a major transport and logistics consultancy in southern and eastern Africa – I have to wear two caps.
This has meant having to separate these roles from one another and still maintain the creditability of Fesarta. However, in order for Fesarta to progress, some changes were needed. The first of these was to bring in some support in the right areas that would benefit Fesarta going forward.
Leon Swanepoel was brought on board in 2016 as a training consultant with a view to developing the Fesarta Academy. Swanepoel has been in the training industry for over 30 years and has extensive experience in both development and the facilitation of various training programmes.
He has completed numerous courses including some international ABE qualifications. His vast experience and knowledge has allowed him to develop these programmes for TLC and to set the systems in place to administer and run the training programme for the Fesarta Academy.
Fesarta launched its E-learning Academy in January 2018. The focus is on driver training for now, but it is hoped that it will expand to supervisor and management level in the near future. More details on the Academy and its courses are available on the Fesarta website.
All courses have been vetted by the IRU Academy in Geneva. These training courses are completely mobile and access will be determined by the candidate’s internet access.
There are very few e-learning courses of this kind available in Africa, so Fesarta is proud to be among the first to offer this type of training. Besides benefiting its members and non-members, it is hoped that offering these courses will make Fesarta more sustainable and less dependent on membership fees.
Another major achievement last year was the signing of an agreement of cooperation with the IRU Academy in Geneva. This has the potential to provide members with additional resource materials from an established global transport organisation that has been in existence since 1948 in more than 70 member countries.
Going forward, Fesarta has signed an agreement with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) to find regional solutions through a public-private partnership.
The proposed initiatives include the regional implementation of the Comesa Virtual Trade Facilitation System or Cargo Tracking (electronic sealing of cargo), and the Comesa Regional Customs Transit Guarantee.
These initiatives will greatly improve the efficiency at our border posts and transportation costs of transit cargo regionally. It will benefit all Fesarta members and transporters willing to participate in this scheme.
Another initiative currently being negotiated between Fesarta and the Sub-Saharan Africa Transport Policy Programme (SSATP) is for Fesarta to host the Corridor Performance Monitoring System developed jointly by SSATP (financers) and Crickmay (service providers), with input from TLC. This will enable Fesarta to add value to the existing platform and provide valuable informative data and statics for users of the system.