Three targets under SDG 4 (ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning) refer directly to the importance of TVET and skills development (4.3; 4.4 and 4.7) in achieving sustainable development. It is in the context of the implementation of the SDGs as well as of the UNESCO Strategy for TVET (2016-2021)[1] that the UNESCO Regional Nairobi Office for Eastern Africa convened a regional Forum, in Mahe, Seychelles in March 2016, to address the problem of youth unemployment in the region. The TVET Sub-Regional Forum for Eastern Africa on the theme “Skills for Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship” brought together key stakeholders within the Eastern African region (including ministries from 12 countries) to identify and share potential promising practices and successful innovations in skills development programs for youth in the region.

The Forum participants formulated the following six (6) key recommendations that make up the “Mahe process”, an initiative to strengthen TVET in the region: (i) developing quality assurance mechanisms; (ii) enhancing the quality of TVET teacher training; (iii) strengthening the teaching of entrepreneurship, basic and generic skills in TVET; (iv) facilitating transition to self-employment; (v) developing and strengthening partnerships with the private sector; and (vi) developing and strengthening funding mechanisms for youth enterprise start-ups.

In order to respond to the first recommendation asking for the development of quality assurance mechanisms and to launch the “Mahe Process”, UNESCO will conduct a regional research on quality assurance of qualifications systems in the 13 Eastern African countries with the view to producing guidelines for better quality assurance in TVET qualifications. Process will be initiated through a methodological workshop with the 13 countries of the region (July 2017). A network of experts on quality assurance of qualifications in the sub-region will be established for future technical cooperation and peer learning, including regarding the production of national reports.

Linkages and partnerships will also be explored through the BEAR II project, initiated in May 2017 in Eastern Africa (Madagascar, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya) and focusing on relevance, quality and perception of TVET. Key partners have involved so far in the Eastern Africa Region the Ministries of Education and TVET Institutions of 13 countries, partner institutions such as the African Union, AfDB, Universities, Civil Society Organizations, the European Union and the UN agencies; as well as UNEVOC.


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