Centre for Technical and Vocational Skills Development (TEVOS)
Africa is a young continent, a continent of hope bestowed by its youthful, innovative and entrepreneurial youth. But this optimistic continent in particular sub-Saharan Africa is currently capturing 55% of its human capital potential, compared to a global average of 65%. With more than 60% of its population under the age of 25, sub-Saharan Africa is the world’s youngest region. By 2030, the continent’s working-age population is set to increase by two-thirds, from 370 million adults in 2010 to over 600 million in 2030. The share of this population with at least a secondary education is set to increase from 36% in 2010 to 52% in 2030. As 15 to 20 million increasingly well-educated young people are expected to join the African workforce every year for the next three decades, delivering the ecosystem for quality jobs – and future skills to match – will be imperative for fully leveraging the continent’s demographic dividend.
While focusing on the formal education skills development, we also recoganise the fact that there is some close 150 million uneducated and/or out of school African youth, whose skills need to be developed to provide opportunity for obtaining a meaningful livelihood through entrepreneurship and/or exploitation of the opportunities within their communities.Agenda 2063 of the African Union Commission recognises that the future of the continent, in part, rests on the skills, knowledge, talents and commitment of its young people.
Skills development in Africa is firmly rooted in Agenda 2063 which considers it a mechanism for eliminating youth unemployment. The aspirations in Agenda 2063 indicate the need for speeding up actions in catalysing an Education and Skills revolution and actively promote science, technology, research and innovation, to build knowledge, human resources, capabilities and skills for the African century. The urgency of get these aspirations translated into action is an urgent reality.
Implementing this will require taking deliberate actions to strengthen the technical and vocational education and training through scaled up investments, the establishment of a pool of high-quality TVET centres, models and interactions across the continent, greater links with industry and alignment to labour markets, with a view to improve the skills profile, employability and entrepreneurship of especially youth and women, and closing the skills gap across Africa.
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