Tue. May 21st, 2024

 

UNESCO and the Republic of Korea has unveiled the Better Education for Africa’s Rise III (BEAR III) project, aimed at strengthening TVET systems in Nigeria and three other countries.

At the unveiling of the project in Abuja on Tuesday, the UNESCO representative in Nigeria, Abdourahamane Diallo, said the project, supported by the government of Korea, would run from 2023-2027.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the BEAR III project is a build up on the first and second phases to increase access to decent work for young people, with focus on women and disadvantaged groups.

Apart from Nigeria, other countries, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Sierra Leone would also be benefiting from the project.

In Nigeria, the project will focus on the agriculture sector with specific focus on agro-processing and post-harvest management.

Diallo said that closing the skills gap in the informal sector was critical to changing workforce by advancing the life and career skills of the growing population.

“Globally, government face a scarcity of labour in several economic domains due to aging population, with up to 30 per cent of population in some countries and a concerning 75 per cent deficiency in highly skilled personnel.

“The BEAR III project takes on great relevance in this context, particularly considering that the African Union has declared 2024 as year of education, with particular emphasis on the theme, ‘Educate and skill Africa for the 21st century’.

“With its enormous potential, Africa is well-proportioned to close the skills gap in the world,” he said.

Also, the representative of the World Health Organisation in Nigeria, Dr Walter Mulombo, said the economic situation in Africa was not measuring up to the demand of her population, hence the need to prioritise skills among youths.

Mulombo said the BEAR III project, as a strategy for operationalising TVET in member states, would provide young people a better chance of accessing decent employment and/or creating self-employment, while also improving their social-economic growth.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman said African countries were not getting the benefit of the young population because they were either not in employment or any training.

“It behooves to look at this young population. We can only ignore them at our detriment so Africa must position herself as key player to the rest of the world in helping to close skills gap.

“The government of Nigeria recognised the issue of skilling as central to the present administration agenda. President Bola Tinubu wants education that has relevance to the problems of the economy,” Mamman said.

He added that the ministry had adopted four policy frameworks that would address the skills gap in the country.

Mamman pledged to work closely with the government of Korea and UNESCO to ensure the success of the programme.(NAN)

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