Skills Development in Africa

Agenda 2063 recognises that the future of the continent, in part, rests on the skills, knowledge, talents and commitment of its young people. The aspirations therein “reflect our desire for shared prosperity and well-being, for unity and integration, for a continent of free citizens and expanded horizons, where the full potential of women and youth are realized, and with freedom from fear, disease and want.” Aspiration 6 of Agenda 2063 specifically talks of an Africa where Development is People-Driven, Unleashing the Potential of its Women and Youth.

Skills development in Africa is firmly rooted in Agenda 2063 which considers it a mechanism for eliminating youth unemployment. The aspirations talks of 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.”

Specifically, this will be through strengthening the technical and vocational education and training through scaled up investments, the establishment of a pool of high-quality TVET centres across Africa, 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 the continent. Implementation will also be within the wider global framework of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly goal 4 which aims at ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all by 2030. SDG 4, target 4.4, talks of “substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship.”