Sub-Saharan African experts, policymakers discuss ways to improve skills of African youth for digital age

POLICYMAKERS, technical experts and educators from sub-Saharan African nations are meeting in Rwandan capital city Kigali to explore how to improve the skills of the African youth for the digital age.

The Regional Forum for the Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET) focuses on the fourth industrial revolution and digital economy, with participants examining the readiness of higher learning institutions to provide necessary skills for Africa’s development, according to organisers of the three-day event which ends on Wednesday.

It is through digital literacy and advanced skills acquired in higher education and technical, vocational education and training that Africa will be able to benefit from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Rwandan Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente said at the opening.

The ultimate goal is to build all required skills to produce relevant technologies for Africa’s innovators, entrepreneurs and future leaders, said Ngirente.

One of the key principles of Africa’s education strategy is to consider quality and relevant education, training and research as core for technological innovation and entrepreneurship, he said.

Jaime Saavedra, senior director of World Bank Global Practice, said there is need to create high quality and transformational systems for education to provide African youth with more opportunities.

Skills development has to be as inclusive as possible for young women or men to upgrade their skills, said Kevit Desai, principal secretary in the State Department of Vocational and Technical Education in Kenya’s Ministry of Education.

PASET is an Africa-led initiative aimed at strengthening the science, technology and engineering capability in sub-Saharan Africa to further its socio-economic transformation.

PASET forums provide the platform to incubate new regional initiatives, expand existing programs and initiate new partnerships between sub-Saharan governments and partners.

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