A person operates a grinder in a workshop; sparks fly from it. Copyright: GIZ

THRIVE - Training professionals for Zambia’s water and energy sectors

THRIVE – Thriving through Innovative Vocational Education in the Water and Energy Sectors

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  • Commissioning Party

    German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

  • Country
  • Lead executing agency


  • Overall term

    2022 to 2025

  • Products and expertise

    Water and renewable energy (sustainable infrastructure)

Budding female solar electrician at a Zambian vocational school. Copyright: GIZ / Luke Katemba


Zambia has a young population. At the same time, youth unemployment is very high, whereby young women are affected more than young men. Around 375,000 people enter the labour market every year, most without any adequate training. Companies complain about difficulties in finding well-qualified workers.

Technical training programmes are rarely geared to the needs of the labour market and modern infrastructure. Graduates often lack the skills needed in the areas of water, sanitation, and solar energy to meet companies’ practical requirements. A lot of time and resources are then needed to give employees further training.


State-run vocational schools in Zambia increasingly offer labour market-oriented education and training in water and energy management in cooperation with companies.

Better trained and, increasingly, female specialists findgood jobs and support a more effective supply of water and sanitation, as well as the spread of solar technologies.

Prospective female water technicians at the Lusaka water supply utility. Copyright: GIZ / Esther Sinda


  • The project helps the Ministry of Technology and Science and the Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority to modernise vocational training in the water and energy sector, and to align it with the needs of the labour market. This also includes dual and modular approaches and the recognition of previously acquired professional experience.
  • In six vocational schools, the project promotes training courses for young women and men in the water and energy sectors in cooperation with the GFA consulting firm. This includes curriculum development, financial planning, the provision of modern equipment and practice-oriented training with companies and the craft sector.
  • Cooperation formats between vocational schools and companies allow practical training in companies, work placements, action days and the joint design of training content.
  • Young women are given targeted support and vocational schools are assisted by gender action plans to ensure a safe learning environment free of discrimination.

Last update: August 2023

Apprentices in a Zambian vocational school. Copyright: GIZ / Luke Katemba

Additional information

Project: Expanding the Green People’s Energy initiative in rural regions (giz.de)

Project: Support with implementing the water sector reform (giz.de)

A map of Africa in which Sambia is highlighted in red.

Zambia country page (giz.de)