A great society entails people’s degree of economic prosperity and spending power; the extent to which jobs are rewarding and offer potential for growth and development. Rwanda stands a high chance of being a great society due to the visible and incredible efforts of its able institutions among them Work Development Authority (WDA)
The workforce Development Authority (WDA) is an institutional framework with a mandate of empowering Rwandans with employability skills and entrepreneurial capacity as an engine to fast-track the country’s development agenda. The establishment of WDA was formally approved by the Cabinet on January 18th, 2008 to provide a strategic response to the skills development challenges facing the country across all sectors of the economy. WDA provides support in upgrading skills to the Rwandan labour market through innovative approaches for further training.
The Law establishing the Workforce Development Authority, its mission, organization and functioning puts it under the category of public institutions which are entrusted with regulatory responsibilities, development of economic and social activities, implementing Government programmes and other activities of general interest intended to improve the welfare of Rwandans.
As singled out in its Vision and Mission WDA aspires to be a regional centre of excellence in workforce development promoting, facilitating and guiding the development and upgrading of skills and competencies of the national workforce in order to enhance competitiveness and employability.
WDA has been able to successfully implement and execute its ideals and prospects, driven by its practical core missions including:
Regular identification of Technical & Vocational Education Training (TVET) subjects recognized in Rwanda.
Developing curricula and standards on technical and vocational Education in Rwanda.
Conducting inspections of observance of standards.
Setting up a labour market information collection system in order to develop curricula and standards tailor-made to labour market needs.
Teaching and training vocational and technical trainers at all levels.
Training workers in various positions in order to upgrade their technical and hands-on skills.
Setting up a streamlined system for conducting exams, vocational and technical certification and accreditation.
Sensitizing and facilitating investors to invest in vocational and technical training in Rwanda.
Promoting employment through entrepreneurship development in collaboration with relevant authorities.
Establishing a National TVET qualification framework that ensures vertical and horizontal mobility and one that is well integrated in the national qualification framework.
Establishing relationships with other regional and international agencies carrying out similar missions.
Incredible WDA departments
In realization of efficiency, great implementation and execution of its mission and vision, WDA introduced various departments that amicably fulfill the obligations.
The Hospitality unit is made of 22 well skilled and competent instructors with required industry experience and international experience since most of them are internationally trained and had further training from other countries including Singapore. Through these instructors WDA has embarked on a nation-wide training campaign in a bid to improve the level of service delivered in Tourism and Hospitality industry.
Among the key trainings done include; 90 managers and supervisors from Kigali Hotels and Restaurants who were trained in Quality Customer Service, 205 Hotel workers in Musanze and Rubavu districts in Customer care and technical skills, 201 workers in Karongi and Rusizi districts of western province and 324 hotel and restaurant workers in Kigali have just concluded the same training.
Up to 415 workers of King Faisal Hospital were trained in Quality customer service by WDA hospitality trainers and 45 Bourbon Coffee Shop staff had the same training on Customer care and technical skills.
This hospitality technical skills training focuses on Culinary skills, Food and beverage service skills, Front office Operations, Housekeeping operations, while Customer care, Food Hygiene, workplace safety and workplace English are crosscutting modules.
Assessment shows that all these trainings have improved their technical skills and Customer Care. Similar programs had been planned for other districts with Huye district whcih concluded the exercise with 126 restuarants and hotel employees. in line with WDA’s nation-wide campaign to improve Tourism and Hospitality sector.
The Department of Partnership Building was established to coordinate and act as a link between WDA and other partners supporting TVET through creation and strengthening Partnerships, mutual cooperation or collaborations.
The Department is composed of different offices with different assigned responsibilities. These include Private Sector Partnership, Civil Society and Public Institutions Partnership, TVET Jobs and Career Guidance and Entrepreneurship development. The department is mandated to strengthen and initiate relationships with the Private Sector, Development Partners, Public Institutions, Civil Society and other TVET institutions from the EAC and abroad aiming at seeking technical and financial support and exchanging information on TVET as well as benchmarking Rwanda`s TVET standards.
All activities that require WDA to forge partnership with other stakeholders are coordinated by the Department of Partnership Building and integrated in the initial WDA plan.
Key achievements within the Partnership Building department:
Establishment of the Department with some of the few staff;
Development of the Industrial Attachment Framework (IAP);
Integrating the Entrepreneurship Program in the existing TVET Program;
Creation of Partnership through signing of MoUs with other Stakeholders (Partners);
40 public and private companies have benefited from funding under ‘upgrade your skills’;
Different Training Facilities (workshops, class rooms, laboratories, training equipments and other facilities) have been upgraded and constructed in different parts of the country through partnership with different local and foreign partners.
WDA’s partners and their respective areas of their contribution
Development Partners (Foreign)
The Kingdom of Belgium common program (BTC, VVOB and APEFE)
Capacity Development of WDA/IPRCs-South with focus on the review of TVET Policy and development of a TVET National Strategy
Support capacity of the curriculum development unit through introduction of Competency based curriculum development (DACUM Approach)
Strengthening the capacity of IPRC-South in key sectors/trades: Hospitality, Agriculture and Construction
TVET Training of Trainers
The Kingdom of the Netherlands: (NUFFIC-The Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation in higher Education)
Strengthening the organization and management capacity of WDA/IPRCs.
Establishment of a sustainable training of trainers system at the A1 (post secondary) level of TVET;
Development of a National TVET Qualifications Framework (TQF)
The Republic of Germany ( GIZ, DED and CIM) : Its area of intervention has been through economic employment promotion programme with the following components:
Upgrade your skills initiative targeting mainly workers in the Labour Market (formal and informal sector)
Capacity development of WDA/IPRCs through the development of a National TVET Strategy and establishment of a Quality Management System (QMS)
Private Sector Skills Development Cluster-Establishment of Sector bodies.
Support in TVET training of trainers (not yet launched)
The Republic of Japan (JICA):
Support in strengthening training capacity of Tumba College of Technology (TCT), A1 level
The Republic of South Korea: Through KOICA and the National Information Society Agency of Republic of Korea they have provided support to IPRC-Kigali (kicukiro) through the following ways:
Strengthening the vocational level
Establishment of Information Access Centre (IAC)
Economic empowerment for adolescent Girls and young Women Project-AGI
Skills Development Project (SDP) with three components
Delivery of quality and Relevant Vocational Training
TVET System strengthening
Rapid skills delivery
Government of China:
Construction of a demand driven TVET (IPRC) School in Musanze District-Northern Province
Establishment of Hospitality and Tourism Training School
The Government of India: Proposed areas of collaboration include:
Upgrading of IPRC-EAST and WEST (Infrastructure & Equipments)
Establishment of Business Incubation Centres in all IPRCs
VSO: Proposed areas of collaboration include Training of Trainers (TOT)
Akilah: Proposed areas of partnership include:
Akilah Upgrading of Mayange VTC
Establishment of Hospitality and Tourism Training School-A1 level
Rwanda National Police (RNP): Proposed areas of partnership include the following:
Short training using TVET Schools under WDA
To link Technical control and IPRC-Kigali
Extension of Technical Control to rural areas/Provinces using TVET schools
To share Technological innovation including Traffic Control Management (Automation system)
Establishment of a Police TVET School for sustainable development
Establishment of IWAWA Rehabilitation and Skills Development Centre
Supporting WDA on development and implementation of Entreprenuership skills curriculum
Other Initiatives with Pending Proposals
Ministry of Defense (MoD): Proposed areas of partnership include:
Training of people from Defense Force in Vocational courses for quick wins purposes.
Support on Management of existing TVET Schools under WDA
Upgrading of ESO-Huye centre to become a demand driven
SWISS Cooperation: Proposed area of collaboration is the Establishment/upgrading of new and existing 7 demand driven Vocational Training Schools in 7 Districts of Western Province
ORIO: A Joint Project Initiative to support TVET in Rwanda through upgrading and construction of TVET Schools, provision of Training of Trainers to support Energy, Infrastructure, Water and Sanitation sectors. The Ministry of Infrastructure is also supporting on this initiative
World Vision: Establishment of a demand driven Vocational Training Centre at Nyaruguru District (Infrastructure)
ENCEL and CSR: Establishment of Ecole de Camionnage et Equipment lourd international (E.N.C.E.L) that will provide skills to Rwandans in Operation, Maintenance and Mechanics of Heavy machinery as well driving of heavy trucks and trailers.
SHair Academy: Establishment of a Hair dressing Academy at Remera
Helpage-Rwanda: Support on Short Training Courses
Government of India: Establishment of Business Incubation in GACURIRO VTC
Hicommand-India: Introduction of Simplified Learning through digitalized model of training in TVET Schools (Integrate ICT in other TVET training program)
There are other major units that have together with departments enabled the smooth implementation of WDA policies and strategies and these include:
Examination and Certification unit
The unit has various incredible roles including:
Supervising the development and regular update of TVET examination and certification.
Monitoring the implementation of TVET examination and certification.
Coordinating definition of standard requirements for examination and certification development.
Reporting to the Director General about examination and certification development activities.
Curriculum Development unit
The curriculum development Unit also plays a vital role in executing the WDA mission:
Supervising the development and the regular update of TVET curricula.
Monitoring the Implementation of TVET curricula.
Supervising the review and the validation TVET curricula proposed by Private schools.
Coordinating definition of standard requirements for curricula development.
Collaborating with National Skill Training Council (NSTC) in order to develop standards for adoption in Rwanda.
Reporting to Director General about curriculum development activities.
TVET Schools Development Unit
TVET Schools Development Department is among WDA’s departments and is responsible for coordination of all Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Planning and Development in terms of both Infrastructure and Equipments/training materials purposely for converting the existing TVET schools modern training facilities with all standard requirements.
To realize this, TVET School Development Department works hand in hand with other WDA organs including but not limited to the Curriculum department which is considered as the heart of the whole institution. Infrastructural planning and development as well as provision of training materials should reflect the developed standard curriculum for its proper implementation.
Main Activity: Coordination of TVET Planning and Development
New TVET schools
Expansion & Rehabilitation of existing TVET schools
Infrastructural Planning &Development
Access ways (Roads, Paths, etc)
Services ( Electricity, Water, sewage, etc)
Provision of Training Equipment
Purchase & Distribution
Upgrading & Maintenance
Monitoring of use
Achievements within the TVET Development Unit
A. Construction and Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation of a Training Workshop Facility at Remera, WDA HQ initially meant to be used to train trainers in the field of ICT-Networking, Domestic Plumbing Installation, Domestic Electrical Installation, Culinary Art and Food & Beverage. (2008)
Rehabilitation of some of the workshops, Administration block, kitchen, dining hall and other buildings including the fence at the IPRC-Kigali (Kicukiro campus). (2008)
Rehabilitation of a Training Workshop Facility at the IPRC-South (Kavumu campus) meant to be used for training in the field of ICT-Networking, ICT-Cabling, Multimedia and Electronics. (2009)
4. Gaculiro VTC:
Construction of a training workshop in the field of Automotive & part of a production unit in the same field.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Youth, WDA initiated a training centre at IWAWA to cater for street children. WDA is an implementing agency as far as training is concerned. This is in line with the fact that apart from allocating 7 trainers in the fields of construction, carpentry, commercial farming and beekeeping, WDA also distributed carpentry tools and consumables for proper run of the school.
Implementation of curriculum or training delivery cannot be successful without training infrastructural planning and development by TVET Schools Development and this is the reason why this unit should work hand in hand with all stakeholders.
TVET is badly needed in this country. Change in coordination of all Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Planning and Development in terms of both Infrastructure and Equipments/training materials is therefore very much awaited for. This should be done with respect to the international standards and Rwandan context purposely for converting the existing TVET schools into modern training facilities. In order to fulfill its mandate TVET schools Development needs to have all its staff in place and provided with all needed office design equipment
WDA’s key achievements
Since its achievement WDA has continued realizing its goals and objectives as a result of a tireless toil and commitment shown by its departments and human resource. WDA has been able to achieve the following recently and in the past few years:
Establishment of the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centres (IPRCs); IPRC-Kicukiro, IPRC-North, IPRC-South.
Development of TVET Policy & the Rwanda TVET Qualification Framework (RTQF)
Conducting TVET national Exams
Development of Competency based Curriculum
Strengthening partnerships with the private & public sectors, development partners & different stakeholders.
WDA’S bright Future
With its various realistic prospects, WDA aspires to realize its dreams of making Rwanda a country full of employability skills and entrepreneurial capacity as an engine to fast-track the country’s development agenda.
This is fully expected due to WDA’S incredible prospects including:
Institutional capacity development for TVET schools
Continuous Professional Development for TVET Trainers
Rapid Skill upgrade in the Labor Market as per priority areas
TVET Public Awareness Campaign