Twenty Technical and Vocation Education and Training (TVET) providers from eight Africa countries stand the chance of benefiting from a €60 million fund under the Skills Initiative for Africa (SIFA) project.
Each of the lucky beneficiaries to be selected will receive a grant up to €3 million.
Grantees will be required to make a counterpart contribution of at least 10% of the total project cost.
The beneficiary countries are Ghana, Cameroun, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tunisia and Togo.
The money will be used to finance the construction, rehabilitation or extension of TVET training centres or the purchase of modern equipment.
In addition, activities such as the design of training programmes, training of trainers and scholarship programmes for learners may be funded under certain conditions to be specified.
The official call for proposal for Window I for large skills development investment projects proposed by Ghanaian TVET providers in both public and private and in private partnerships have been launched in Accra.
Skills Initiative for Africa (SIFA) is an initiative of the African Union Commission (AUC) supported by the German Government to strengthen occupational prospects of young people, women and vulnerable groups in Africa.
SIFA responds in part to the African Union’s Agenda 2063 that calls for a paradigm shift towards transformative education and training systems to meet the knowledge, competencies, skills, research, innovation and creativity required to nurture the future.
The SIFA funding mechanism provides skills and development actors with a major opportunity to access significant funding to address weaknesses on implementation of their skills development strategy, which is often linked to insufficient funding for institutions, inadequate teaching and learning facilities, and teachers lacking practical skills.
To materialise this support, the SIFA team of experts, starting from yesterday, would deliver an informative session, giving potential applicants a detailed and precise understanding of the application process, the eligibility criteria and modalities for submission of concept notes that will be used to evaluate the projects submitted.
Speaking at the launch of the official call for proposals, Director and Head of Skills and Employment for Youth Programme of the African Union Development Agency (AUDA), Fati N’zi-Hassane noted that the expectations are particularly high for Ghana because of its particular interest of Ghana in promoting TVET.
“We stand ready to support Ghana in its TVET development to enhance the economic opportunities and employment prospects of the country’s youth,” she stated.
She said the Agenda 2063 calls for paradigm shift towards transformative education and training systems to develop the knowledge skills, research, innovation and creativity needed to secure the future of the young people and Africa as a whole.
It is in light of these challenges, she noted, that the African Union and the German Government have come together to launch and promote the SIFA.
N’zi-Hassane said New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency of AUDA is involved in areas as diverse as infrastructure development, regional integration, agriculture and the creation of regional markets, including the emergence of an African pharmaceutical industry.
All these activities and preoccupations, she said, respond to the shared concern of Africa and Africans to see the emergence of a strong united and sovereign continent.
“Pursuing the Agenda 2063 vision, Africa can only rely on the great potential formed by its useful population,” she said.
Deputy Minister of Education, Gifty Twum Ampofo urged the Ghanaian applicants to write great proposals to be able to access more of the €6 million available for the various project.
The German Ambassador to Ghana, Christoph Retzlaff, observed that given that nearly 440 million young people will find themselves in the labour market it is important to educate, prepare and give them the right opportunities not only to contribute to the agenda, but also to place the African continent at the centre of the global economic system.
Source: The Finder Newspaper