4 August 2023
WorldSkills and African Union define major milestones for the establishment of WorldSkills Africa
Following the success of three WorldSkills Africa Competitions in recent years, the African continent will soon have its own WorldSkills regional organization.
WorldSkills Africa is set to join the other WorldSkills regional organizations to potentially reach as many as 55 countries to join the WorldSkills movement. A recent workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa, organized by the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), brought WorldSkills International, African Union, five of the current WorldSkills African Members, industry partners, development partners, and VET providers to discuss how to put WorldSkills Africa into action.
The meetings established a timeline that could see the new regional organization’s pre-launch at WorldSkills General Assembly 2023 this September, and an official launch during the African Union Heads of State Summit in early 2024. This is significant as the African Union Summit will also launch education as the theme of the year for 2024.
The African Union signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of WorldSkills Africa in February 2019. Since then, both organizations, alongside the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), have been working on the concrete steps to implement it.
Driven by the momentum generated by the success of WorldSkills Africa Swakopmund 2022, a meeting took place during the last event of WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition in Salzburg, Austria from 21 to 23 November. It looked at important issues such as governance and the organizational structure of WorldSkills Africa.
Three impact statements were defined to help design the objectives that can guide the new organization in changing VET perception and drive innovation for skills development and excellence on the continent:
- Accelerate skill-based growth for employability and prospect for youth.
- Enable skills driven sustainable development socially, economically, and environmentally.
- Influence effective systemic changes in government, education, and industry.
The recent workshop in Johannesburg, held in June 2023, built on this work, with participating stakeholders sharing their feedback and expectations on the desired aspects of capacity building, skills competitions, and systemic reforms.
Representatives from five African countries took part - Kenya, Namibia, Mauritius, South Africa, and Zambia. Don Bosco Tech Africa and the Association of Technical Universities and Polytechnics in Africa shared their insights as VET providers. Industry perspectives in the meeting included Cisco and WorldSkills Global Partners Lincoln Electric and Festo.
WorldSkills Africa, as a regional platform, will sit within AUDA-NEPAD to enhance coordination and coherence between countries, and is best positioned to advance advocacy, sharing knowledge, and developing skills excellence.
In the lead-up to WorldSkills General Assembly 2023, set to take place in Dublin, Ireland, from 24 to 29 September, AUDA-NEPAD has been conducting consultation and awareness-building sessions with Members of the African Union.
Currently at the bidding stage, the next Host for the WorldSkills Africa Competition is expected to be revealed around the same date.
For more information on WorldSkills Africa Competitions and on the WorldSkills movement in the continent, check out the WorldSkills Africa website.