19 Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) managers gathered at the RRA Training Institute campus at Huye from 25th – 29th August 2014 for the MBA (Customs Management) customs specialization modules delivered by the Centre for Customs & Excise Studies (CCES). The MBA programme, which is run in collaboration with the East and Southern Africa Management Institute (ESAMI), with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania is delivered in three phases, namely general management courses (ESAMI), customs specialization courses (CCES) and a Master’s thesis on a customs area (CCES). In addition to the students in Rwanda, there are students registered for the programme from other countries in Africa including Cameroon, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Customs specialization courses are delivered through a blended mode using intensive face to face teaching, virtual classroom teaching on an e-learning platform and real time online support.
This mode of learning was a new experience for the group. Commenting on the blended approach, Mr. Claudien Uzabakiriho, Deputy Principal (Academic) of the RRA Training Institute said “Our policy in RRA is to leverage technology to support various learning programmes for our staff, we have a MOODLE-based e-learning platform and qualified IT support staff so the students registered for the MBA can be sure they will be provided with all the assistance they need until they finish.”
Some of the officers who attended the teaching sessions expressed their views. Ms. Jeanne Uwigoroye who has worked in the Domestic Taxes Department for most of her time in RRA said, “This course has made me realize how much there is to learn about customs – it has changed my perspective and will certainly help me do my work in Taxpayer Education better.” Adding to this Mr. Stephen Mugisha (Internal Audit) said “Our work contributes to the strengthening of systems and procedures in the organization, so it is important for us to understand the customs business and trends at the regional and international level so that we are able to advise the department from an informed angle.”
Stephen Muller and Creck Buyonge Mirito conducted the sessions. CCES alumni of Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) organized a get together to meet with Stephen and Creck during their visit to Rwanda.
Stephen & Creck also visited ESAMI in Arusha, and met with senior staff. Additonally they met with Prof Apollonia K. Kerenge, Director Trade Policy Centre for Africa (TraPCA).