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African Education Ministers converge in Nairobi for key summit

PASET programme is facilitated by World Bank

Cabinet Secretary for Education Ezekiel Machogu

Education ministers from 12 African countries will converge in Nairobi on Monday for the 6th Forum of the Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET).

They will be discussing strategies to strengthen Africa’s capabilities in preparing manpower needed, for modern industrial economies in Africa.

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The conference to be held between April 23-25, 2024, brings together the academia, industry and governments across Africa to discuss the future of skills, education and entrepreneurship in the continent.

The theme of the conference is “Leveraging Technical, Vocational and Technical Training (TVET) in the knowledge and skills ecosystem for Africa’s industrialisation”.

The minister will particularly discuss the role of African higher education in shaping the Continent’s green economy and the future of work. More than 500 participants are expected to attend the forum.

Speaking ahead of the conference, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Education Dr Ezekiel Machogu said: “Africa’s socio-economic transformation relies on its ability to develop relevant skills, and promote scientific research and technology for industry and society.”

He added: “It is evident that our collective efforts are not only driving the advancement of science, technology and innovation in Africa but are also laying the foundation for socio-economic transformation across our nations. I am in no doubt that the objectives we set to achieve in the 6th PASET Forum will be achieved,” Dr Machogu added.

Also on the agenda is the nature and type of knowledge and skills required for Africa’s industrialisation, specifically the development and diffusion of digital technologies like AI, robotics, and data analytics in the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the continent.

Kenya’s Ministry of Education is collaborating with the PASET Secretariat, and the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) – the Regional Coordination Unit for PASET’s Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund(RSIF) – to organise the event.

Several PASET countries will share their experiences and expectations of how skills should evolve and prepare the continent’s youth for the future of work and industrialisation.

The Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (RSIF) scholars, together with their mentors, supervisors and other stakeholders, in the higher education sector in Africa and abroad will showcase their work addressing needs for the green economy and future of work. This will include the contributions of sectors like food security and agribusiness, AI and data science, climate change, energy and minerals, mining and materials sciences.

Chair of the PASET Executive Board based in Senegal, Prof Aminata Diallo said: “The need to fill the skills gap in applied sciences, engineering, and technology and foster socio-economic transformation of Africa is what has motivated African governments to implementPASET since 2013 with support of the World Bank.”

PASET is a unique Africa-led initiative, which focuses on building skills for key economic sectors that support Africa’s socio-economical transformation, from the upper-secondary/TVET level to postgraduate education and scientific research.

Currently, the PASET programme has 12 members namely the Governments of Rwanda, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Benin, Tanzania, Somalia, Burkina Faso and Kenya.

It is governed by African Education Ministers, scientists, development, business leaders and African academics and is facilitated by the World Bank.

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