ADEA and the Inter-Country Quality Node for Technical and Vocational Skills Development launch a Seminar to find solutions to education and training in Africa

Group photo with the Minister of Technical Education and Vocational Training, Mr. Paul Koffi Koffi (in the center) during the opening ceremony | Photo credit: ADEA

The Ministry of Technical Education and Vocational Training of Côte d’Ivoire in collaboration with the Inter-Country Quality Node for Technical and Vocational Skills Development (ICQN-TVSD) and the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) launched a seminar in Abidjan from 7th to 8th November on the theme: "Fostering Continuing Education and Training", in order to find concrete solutions to accelerate universal access to education and training in Africa.

Mr. Paul Koffi Koffi, Minister of Technical Education and Vocational Training, who chaired the opening ceremony, reiterated in his statement that "the concept of TVSD launched by ADEA aims at promoting innovative policies and practices for education and training in Africa through the pooling of reflections, experiences, learning and knowledge through the development of a holistic vision of education systems, that makes it possible to integrate all the formal, non-formal and informal ways and means of professionalization to enable as many young people and adults as possible to acquire the skills they need to integrate permanently into working life".

The minister also emphasized that in Côte d'Ivoire, young people outside the formal education system are estimated at 1,900,000 according to a study on "children and adolescents outside the education system" published by ENSEA (National School of Statistics and Applied Economics) and UNICEF in July 2015. They account for 43 percent of children between 6 and 16 years old.   Mindful of this situation, the Ivorian government has initiated a law on compulsory education of children between 6 and 16-year old.

For this reason, the three main objectives of the Seminar were to:  (i) identify 4 or 5 knowledge and skills-building mechanisms implemented by the participating countries, that are conducive to effective continuum between education and training ; (ii) further explore together how these mechanisms could be strengthened at the national level and pooled within the framework of the inter-country cooperation;  and (iii) make proposals for the promotion and generalization of these mechanisms for the 2017 Ministerial Conference.

The main focus of the statement pronounced by Mr. Amara Kamaté, the ICQN-TVSD Coordinator, was the need to strengthen inter-country cooperation in the areas of Vocational Training, Technical and Vocational Skills Development, Integration of Youth into Working Life.  To this end, and before thanking ADEA, the coordinator reiterated that the seminar aimed at making available to the Ministers of the Node a platform for the exchange and sharing successful experiences of the Continuum Education-Training.

Mr. Shem Bodo, ADEA Senior Programs Officer, speaking on behalf of Ms. Oley Dibba-Wadda, ADEA Executive Secretary, emphasized that the seminar was a follow-up to what had been initiated in Abidjan in 2014 at the Ministerial Conference on "Youth Employment in Africa", during which ministers approved three priority areas for the ICQN by 2017:  1. Implementation of experiences and Inter-country mechanisms for job creation for young people; 2. Support investment in skills and competencies acquisition by trainers and entrepreneurs; and 3. Improvement of the implementation of education and training continuum.

In conclusion, the ADEA representative reiterated the importance of the three main pillars for Africa on the post-2015 period, namely the 2030 Global Agenda, the Agenda 2063 for Africa and the ADEA Triennale to be held from 14th to 17th  March 2017 in Dakar, Senegal.

The seminar brought together several stakeholders, amongst them the representative of the Minister of National Education; the Representative of the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research; the Representative of ADEA Executive Secretary; the Representative of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation - West Africa (SDC); the UNESCO Country Representative; the Chairperson of the School/Enterprise Partnership Development Unit; Technical and Financial Partners; and the private sector, among others.  More than 17 country experts participated in this technical meeting presenting their country reports as well.