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The Skill Initiative for Africa-Ethiopia Program that aims to support occupational prospects of young people in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) was launched here today.
The Skill Initiative for Africa (SIFA) is an initiative of the African Union Commission (AUC), supported by the German Government, to strengthen occupational prospects of young people in Africa.
Ethiopia is among the 8 pilot countries where the Skill Initiative for Africa-Ethiopia Program will be implemented, it was learned.
The program provides for funding on a competitive basis for the implementation of innovative and sustainable skills development initiatives.
Government and private technical and vocational schools will compete in this program and the winner gets 3 million Euros in the first phase.
Opening the program, Science and Higher Education Minister Hirut Woldemariam said TVET is expected to have a greater contribution and important role pertaining to the strategic goal of the country’s development endeavors. However, the sector is not adequately supported by the main actors.
This program will, therefore, enable TVET institutes to enhance their capacity in quality training and job creation.
She added that the program also helps meet the needs of industries and capacitate the youth and women to contribute their parts to enhancement of the sector.
Germany’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Brita Wagener said education and training are very often detached from the required skills at workplace and the practical solution is the involvement of the private sector in curriculum development, education, and training itself.
“In full partnership with Ethiopia, Germany will continue in the training, learning with the immediate involvement of the private sector,” the ambassador stated.
Wagener added that Ethiopia has already put in place comprehensive set of policies and has gained broader experiences in TVET. “This is why we selected Ethiopia as a pilot country from among others.”
Skill and Employment for Youth Program for African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) Head, Fati N’zi-Hassana said the aim is to bring hope to the African youth so that they could get viable careers in the continent.
She added that “we would like to support not only the implementation of game changing projects but also generate best practices that could be shared even beyond these 8 countries.”