Africa urged to invest in technical skills development

Africa should invest more resources in skills development if the continent is to meet the human resource demands of the private sector.

Africa should invest more resources in skills development if the continent is to meet the human resource demands of the private sector.

“Africa is rising, but to realise this exciting prospect, the continent should invest in skills development and higher education, especially science and technology,” Ritva Reinikka, the director for human development in Africa at the World Bank, said.

Reinikka added that the continent’s higher education should be more responsive to the needs of the growing industrial sector.

Reinikka was speaking during a three-day workshop on the theme, “Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology in Africa” in Addis Ababa, Ethiopian early this week. The World Bank organised event brought together ministers of education and training and technocrats from Rwanda, Ethiopia, Guinea, Liberia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan and Tanzania, as well as experts from Brazil, China, India and Korea.

It aimed at building collaborations to help the continent meet the rising demand for cutting-edge and market-relevant skills in the industrial sector.

“The knowledge gained from the workshop will help us draft practical proposals to enhance collaboration between partner countries and African countries to strengthen the contributions of technical and higher education institutions in the economic development of our nations,” Ato Demeke Mekonnen, the Ethiopian deputy Prime Minister, said.

Shobha Ghosh, a senior director at the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce, noted that Africa can leverage the experience of India, particularly in engineering, science and technology, to solve the challenge.

The World Bank conducted consultations with several African countries on the proposed partnership with selected emerging economies, which are already directly contributing to the continent’s development as investors.

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