Revitalising technical and vocational education and training in Africa: Issues outstanding

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George Afeti


One of the stark realities of Africa today is the crisis of youth unemployment. Every year,
about 10–12 million poorly skilled young people exiting the various levels of the education
system enter the labour market (AfDB & OECD, 2012), where they end up in insecure and
sometimes hazardous employment with no prospect of further education or training. Even
graduates of higher education institutions are not spared the frustration of seeking and not
immediately finding a job. In countries such as Zambia and Ethiopia, young graduates may
take up to five years after training before finding a job in the formal sector (ILO, 2013). In
Ghana, it is estimated that the economy needs to create 300 000 new jobs per year to absorb
the growing number of unemployed (Honorati & Johansson de Silva, 2016). In Tanzania,
approximately 800 000 people enter the labour market each year (ILO, 2012), in contrast to
the absorptive capacity of the public sector of only 40 000.

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