East Africa scramble for $293 million World Bank project

What you need to know:

  • The $293 million five year project is currently being implemented in Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia through 16 flagship training institutions.

Arusha. Plans are afoot to rope in more countries in a World Bank-supported skills development programme for the youths.

The $293 million five year project is currently being implemented in Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia through 16 flagship training institutions.

This was announced here yesterday during the opening of the technical advisory meeting of the Eastern Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project (Eastrip).

“We are in advanced stages of signing the MoU and we shall keep you updated,” said Prof. Gaspard Banyankibona, the executive secretary of the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA).

Once the MoU is signed, it will add nine more countries under the project to 12, and will include other East African Community (EAC) partner states.

“It means 12 countries in the eastern Africa region will upgrade their technical and vocational training education (TVET),” he pointed out.

According to Prof Banyankibona, the beneficiary of upgraded technical skills will be huge infrastructural projects under implementation.

These include, among others, the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) being jointly undertaken by Tanzania and Uganda.

Another key project is the Lamu Port South Sudan and Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) being undertaken by Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan.

EAC secretary general Peter Mathuki said training of the critical skilled people was one of the bloc’s aspirations to meet the current and future market demands.

“The move would also address the issue of unemployment,” he said, noting that skilled human resource was critical for the region’s development. Sectors that will benefit include infrastructure, industrialisation and manufacturing and value addition in agriculture.

Others are sustained management of natural resources hinging on value chain and beneficiation as well as management of human capital.

“These sectors will ensure that the economies of EAC remain competitive and continue to attract the required investments,” he said.

Dr Mathuki said increasing youth unemployment has created the need of teaching and learning “focussed on skills development”.

“Therefore TVET institutions are well positioned to lead this new approach to learning,” the EAC boss told the meeting largely attended by scholars from the region.

EASTRIP is a five-year project funded by the World Bank and the governments of Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya to increase access and improve quality of TVET programs offered by the selected Regional Flagship TVET Institutes.

Four of the colleges are in Tanzania and include; the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) in Dar es Salaam and Mwanza campuses, the National Institute of Transport (NIT) and Arusha Technical College (ATC).