Minister Tasks CAPA On Repositioning TVET on the Continent

Nigeria's Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu has called on the Commonwealth Association of Technical Universities and Polytechnics in Africa (CAPA) to engender a continental paradigm shift on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to create effective and sustainable linkages and synergy between the world of training and the world of work.

The Minister who stated this in an address he delivered at the CAPA 40th Anniversary International Conference on “Enhancing Technical Capacity and Partnership for Industrial and Sustainable Development in Africa” held at the NICON Luxury Hotel Abuja between August 27th and 30th, 2018 said a continental paradigm shift on TVET has become necessary to address all the various levels of technical training pathways, primary to tertiary, formal, informal and non-formal.

Mal. Adamu noted that the future and the way to go for Africa is the TVET way; adding that the solution to the continent's unemployment problem and its bid to industrialize lie in the technical education. According to the Minister, “What it requires today is that, in line with African Union's Continental Strategy for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, CAPA must seek to undergo – and engender a continental – paradigm shift on TVET”.

To attain the paradigm shift on TVET, the Minister said African countries must first strive to restore glory to the image of TVET; and ensure and coordinate the emergence of effective continental partnerships to support the development of human capital for sustainable development.

The Minister who declared the conference open on behalf of Nigeria's President, Mohammadu Buhari GCFR, said the Federal Government of Nigeria has laid out its new Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017 – 2020 (ERGP) as its strategy for economic growth and sustainable development. He said the vision of ERGP is one of sustained inclusive growth which has three broad objectives of restoring growth, investing in our people, and building a globally competitive economy.


HME delivering his speech

He also stated that Nigeria has successfully drawn up and commenced the implementation of a sectoral framework for skills development under the Nigerian Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF), which he said provides a system for the promotion, standardization and recognition of working skills irrespective of where or how the skills are acquired.

Mal. Adamu said the NSQF being a sectoral framework is only a precursor to the national Qualifications Framework (NQF) that will incorporate all education and training achievements both in the formal, informal, and non-formal training sectors. He said the national Framework will integrate in a competency–based training and assessment system, all qualifications available in the country and allow seamless transition among the various institutions that are available in the different sectors of the economy.

Drawing from Nigeria's example, the Minister called for regional standardization and recognition of competencies and certificates in the African region which he said are prerequisite to labour mobility and integration on the continent, noting that “Expertise abounding in one sub-region can be tapped by another if appropriate structures are entrenched by the African Union Commission and other regional communities such as Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Southern African Development Community (SADC), East African Community (EAC), and the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA)”.

The Minister who stated that the Regional Qualifications Framework will certainly open doors of opportunities for African expertise to be recognized and accepted by countries  on the continent, commended the achievements by the ECOWAS Commission and urged other regional economic communities to follow suit in establishing the foundations of their own frameworks.

Also, the Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology of the African Union Commission, Her Excellency, Prof. Sarah Anyang Agbor while commending CAPA as a strategic area of intervention in TVET, expressed the need for industrialization of the continent, youth empowerment through the creation of employment, stressing that youth unemployment has remained a major challenge on the continent.

HME with dignitaries

The AU Commissioner who was the Special Guest of the occasion further expressed the need for revitalizing the system of skills development in Africa to achieve set goals while also urging African nations to pay attention to challenges bedeviling TVET development in Africa including the issues of stigmatization of TVET, skills mismatch, low industry participation and the need for TVET to fall in line with changes required in industry.

In her goodwill message, wife of Nigeria's President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari who was represented at the event by the former Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs. Pauline Talen, gave the assurance of her commitment to the promotion of education in the country. 

Sir Joseph Ari, the Director General/CEO of Nigeria's Industrial Training Fund (ITF) who delivered the conference's keynote address expressed the need for Africa to develop technologically and industrially as identified by the UN General Assembly which proclaimed 2016 – 2025 as an industrial decade for Africa.

Dr. Ari noted that to achieve this goal and the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, all African countries must promote innovative policies and programmes that will address identified skills gaps in their primary sectors particularly those relating to technical manpower development required for industrialization.

He urged public and private sectors on the continent to collaborate for the empowerment of indigenous human capital in Africa through skills.

Keynote speakers at the conference included Hon. Badara A. Joof, Minister of The Gambia Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology;  Dr. Masa'udu Adamu Kazaure, Executive Secretary of Nigeria's Board for Technical Education; Dr. Kevit Desai, Principal Secretary State Department of Vocational Technical Training, Ministry of Education, Kenya; Hon. Connie September (MP), Chairperson, Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training, Parliament of the Republic of South Africa;  Dr. Kipkirui Lang'at, Director General/CEO, TVET Authority, Kenya among others.

Speaking on CAPA 2018 Awards of Excellence for Development in Africa, the Executive Secretary of the Association, Dr. Olubunmi Owoso said a key pillar of the mandate of CAPA is to engage in policy advocacy in favour of skills development for wealth creation in Africa.

The Secretary further stated that CAPA had inaugurated the Annual Awards of Excellence in 2014 to selected organizations and individuals, judged to have made outstanding contributions to technical education and socio-economic development in Africa, as a means of highlighting champions of policy, industry, business and social enterprises that have positively impacted development in Africa.

Dr. Owoso announced winners of the commemorative 40th anniversary 2018 CAPA Awards which included H.E Mrs.  Aishia Buhari, wife of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Chairman, Aliko Dangote Group; Dr. Kevit Desai, Principal Secretary, State Department of Vocational and Technical Training, Kenya; The Standard Group Limited, Kenya and Chief Eric Umeofia, Chief Executive Officer , Erisco Foods Ltd., Nigeria. 

The Chairman of COHEADS and Rector of Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, Alh. Mas'ud Elelu was elected Chairman of CAPA Executive Board. Alhaji Elelu who was CAPA Vice Chairman (Western Region) and later Ag. Chairman CAPA Executive Board took over as Chairman CAPA Executive Board from Ghanaian Prof. Abdulai Asuro.