Agricultural Technical Vocational Education and Training (ATVET) in Africa

Project description

Title: Supporting Agricultural Technical Vocational Education and Training in Africa through NEPAD/CAADP
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Member states of the African Union
Lead executing agency: African Union, represented by the AU Commission
Overall term: 2012 to 2016

Agricultural training session © GIZ

In most African countries, agriculture is the most significant sector in the fight against poverty and the efforts to ensure food security. Despite this, training measures in this sector are rarely tailored to the needs of the labour market. Many farmers and entrepreneurs lack the appropriate skills to increase their productivity and improve the quality of their products. Policy frameworks, such as the National Agricultural Investment Plans (NAIPs), do not adequately reflect the need for agricultural technical vocational education and training (ATVET). At the same time, there is a lack of qualified staff to carry out the relevant training measures.

Sustainable, labour market oriented vocational training for the agricultural sector is firmly established in the structures and processes of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), both at the continental level and in selected countries.

The CAADP is a continent-wide initiative of the African Union and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), promoting agricultural transformation, food security and economic growth. Within the framework of the CAADP, GIZ is carrying out activities in three areas to address the challenges faced within the sector.

Knowledge management – By establishing a knowledge management system for the continent, the project is supporting the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency in disseminating good practices and experiences of vocational training in agriculture.

Support for continental and national policymakers – The project supports NEPAD in developing continental level policy frameworks and guidelines. It aims to incorporate the relevant aspects of the thematic area of ATVET as well as national policy makers in the pilot countries to incorporate vocational training into national CAADP processes and plans, including the national agricultural investment plans, as well as reform of existing technical and vocational education training systems in agriculture (for example by reviewing the national qualification frameworks).

Advice to agricultural training colleges – Along selected value chains, the project promotes the development and use of competence-based curricula and training modules that are relevant to the labour market. These address both agricultural and entrepreneurial knowledge and skills. To this end, the project supports a sequence of steps:

  1. Mapping exercises to assess the status of vocational training in agriculture, identifying relevant actors and institutions, and selecting priority value chains
  2. Skills assessments, along the selected value chains and to evaluate the organisational capacities of the training colleges, and thus prioritise specific target colleges and training needs
  3. Supporting the training colleges in developing the curricula and training modules (with private sector involvement)
  4. Development of associated teaching and learning materials
  5. Application of the training modules for employees and agricultural entrepreneurs, with a specific focus on teacher training as well as youth and women.

The project is running in Kenya, Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Togo and Malawi as pilot countries.

The consulting firm AFC supports the implementation of the project.

At the continental level, the NEPAD Agency has successfully integrated agricultural vocational training into CAADP processes and plans, such as the CAADP Results Framework, the 2014 Malabo Declaration and the Agriculture Education and Skills Improvement Framework. In all the pilot countries, there is now a high level of awareness of the need to integrate vocational training into national agricultural policies and instruments.

Ghana has already incorporated it into its national agricultural investment plan, while Kenya and Benin have established technical and policy committees to further the process. Additional strategies and action plans have been developed in Burkina Faso and Benin, and all the pilot countries have successfully improved their national qualification frameworks.

In the sequential development of new training measures, Malawi has now prioritised agricultural training centres for the value chains of mango and pineapple. Togo (prioritising rice and aquaculture), Burkina Faso (rice, sesame and cashew) and Benin (rice and meat) have all completed the third stage and are now testing their curricula. Kenya and Ghana, meanwhile, have completed the full process and are now rolling out the training measures developed for youth and farmers. In Ghana, over 570 farmers, of which more than 30 per cent are female, have received training.