Skills that lead to jobs: AfDB provides US $62 million to support Technical and Vocational Education in Kenya

03/07/2015
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The Executive Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 approved a US $62-million loan to finance the second phase of Kenya’s Support to Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for Relevant Skills Development project.

“Kenya is experiencing a skills gap, mainly for technicians and artisans. This project will play an important role in supporting the emerging oil, gas and mining industry, which intends to employ between 42,000 and 98,000 people over the next 10 years,” said Sunita Pitamber, Director for Human Development.

Eighty percent of the population in Kenya are under 35 years old and they bear the greatest burden of unemployment. In 2009, youth unemployment spiked at 35% compared to 10% for adults. One of the major challenges is skills mismatch with the labour market needs and inadequate training. A reformed TVET sector has the potential to develop relevant skills and significantly improve the employability of Kenya’s workforce, especially among women and youth.

The project aims to increase access and equity, improve

quality and relevance of TVET in line with the Kenya TVET Act of 2013. The project will strengthen faculties of engineering and applied sciences in the 33 target TVET institutions through engineering infrastructure and faculty development. These include 4 TVET institutions for hearing and visual impaired students. At least 600 TVET tutors will be trained at diploma and degree levels in engineering and applied sciences.

The project will also support the training of 3,000 youths (50% females) in relevant skills to increase their employability. Furthermore, the project will support construction of hostels in some of the target TVET institutions, rural and marginalised regions, where it was reported that the lack of hostels hinder girls access to these institutions.

A key consideration in the design of the project was value for money, and accountability in the education sector. About 6% of Kenya’s GDP is allocated to the education sector, of which an approximated US $1.2 million is disbursed to each TVET institution annually. The project will support the Accountant General’s Office, the Auditor General and the Public Procurement Oversight Authority to build the capacity of TVET institutions to strengthen their overall Public Financial Management (PFM).

The African Development Bank currently has a portfolio of US $221 million to support higher education, science and technology, TVET, entrepreneurship and skills development in Kenya.