Kenya School of Revenue Administration (KESRA) has today awarded 882 graduates with certificates and diplomas in Customs and Tax administration.
The graduates were awarded during the Kenya School of Revenue Administration (KESRA) 18th graduation ceremony held at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi.
This year’s cohort records the highest number of graduands to have ever graduated from KESRA in one graduation event, a sign of growth and expanded reach.
“We congratulate all the graduands today for their commitments and dedications in pursuit of knowledge. We are extremely proud of you and we shall keep supporting you even beyond this event. KESRA is growing and we are expanding our reach within the region. We are now training about 7000 staff per year, up from less than 1000 per year four years ago,” said Dr. Mugambi Mwirigi, Commissioner, KESRA.
Dr. Mugambi Mwirigi added that the new graduands are well equipped with tax and customs knowledge necessary to improve service delivery and boost tax administration. He highlighted that the trainings are aligned with the industry realities and are geared towards furnishing individuals with regional best practices in customs and tax administration.
“We have designed our courses and training to address the current industry challenges and realities while also forecasting on the future of tax and customs administration. We work very closely with industry players like Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to ensure that our programmes play an immense role in the skill transfer processes and industry best practices,” said the Commissioner.
Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Commissioner-General, Githii Mburu, applauded the significant role that KESRA plays in building capacity and developing skills necessary to improve the tax, customs and Fiscal landscape in the region. He also noted that the institution has been in the forefront, training KRA staff on key skill-based programmes geared towards enhancing service delivery and professionalism.
“I would like to appreciate the various programmes that KESRA has put together to train and enhance knowledge in the tax sector. KESRA has been offering tailored programmes to KRA staff as a step towards building the staff capacity. In the last 3 years alone, KESRA has trained about 400 KRA junior staff on post-graduate programmes. Over 120 KRA managers and another 100 Assistant Managers have also gone through KDF programmes as a result of a strategic partnership between KESRA and KDF,” said the Commissioner General.
The Commissioner General further noted that KESRA has established and enhanced strategic partnerships with higher institutions like JKUAT, Moi University, the KDF, GIZ, OECD, ATAF and the IMF (TADAT) among others for purposes of enhancing training and professionalism. The school is also hosting the OECD African Academy for Tax and Financial Crimes Investigations.
“KESRA is recognized as one of the best in Africa in the areas of tax and customs as evidenced by the mandate that has been bestowed upon her to train for Africa by various bodies such as WCO, ATAF and the OECD,” concluded The Commissioner General.
During the ceremony, Mr. Amos Njoroge Gathecha, the Principal Administrative Secretary in The National Treasury, while representing the CS for Treasury and National Planning CS, Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u, appreciated the work that KESRA is doing in enhancing capacity and professionalism in customs and tax administration in the region.
“I take note of the rapid growth achieved by the School in the last few years. I particularly note with satisfaction the footprint that KESRA has already built around the Continent in the areas of Tax and Customs Administration. Training close to 7,000 in one year is not a small achievement,” said Prof. Ndungu’.
The CS also applauded KRA for their contributions in augmenting the growth and successes of KESRA. He assured that the National Treasury will continue supporting the Authority in building capacity and enhancing their processes in tax and customs administration.
“The National Treasury shall continue to support KRA with necessary resources so that you can enhance your capacity to mobilize even more revenue for the country. We shall also continue to work with you to identify other ways of supporting the work that you do in other spheres outside revenue collection including in the areas of trade facilitation and market protection,” concluded Prof. Ndungu’.
During the event, KESRA also unveiled a mobile phone App and a chatbot. The application is intended to enhance service delivery and student interactions by facilitating seamless live communication and ensuring that students get quick response to their queries as soon as they come up.
“We have also launched a mobile phone Application that will enhance interactions between students, staff and the general public. Going forward, anyone will get immediate responses to common questions in a chat window instead of waiting for an email, a phone call, or a response from another channel,” added the Commissioner.
This year’s event was themed ‘A regional approach to capacity building in Tax and Customs. It called for a more targeted, coordinated and sufficiently resourced approach to Customs capacity building, which is aligned with the World Customs Organization (WCO) Capacity Building Strategy.