Inter-country Quality Node on Technical and Vocational Skills Development (ADEA)

Creation and role

The ADEA Inter-country Quality Node on Technical and Vocational Skills Development (ICQN/TVSD) was launched in July 2010 during a Ministerial Conference to serve as a catalyst for policies, strategies and action in favor of the development of technical and vocational skills to support the accelerated, sustainable development of Africa. This Conference was followed by a consecutive Ministerial Conference in 2011. The idea behind the setting up of inter-country quality nodes was to involve the countries as focal points, in order to develop a transnational cooperation in terms of policies, knowledge and experiences. 
>> more information about the Node (EN, FR)

The ICQN/TVSD was specifically created as a response to the need to rise above the traditional, dichotomous vision in which general post-primary education is viewed as separate from technical and vocational education and training (TVET), and the TVET system as separate from alternative paths to technical and vocational skills development (TVSD). It also implied a shift from a supply-side approach to a demand-side approach reflecting the roles and responsibilities of all actors involved.

The lead organization of the ICQN/TVSD is the Ministry for Technical and Vocational Training of Côte d'Ivoire and more than twenty countries from all the sub-regions of Africa currently participate in the Node’s activities.

The ICQN’s objective is to enable public and private sector decision-makers engaged in TVSD reform policies to pool their experiences in this field at the regional, sub-regional and continental levels, and thus enable them to take a more efficient, concerted approach to the challenges they all face: facilitating integration into the workforce for the many young people who are excluded from the labor market and significantly raising the skill level of the entire working population in order to promote sustainable growth in Africa. The ICQN is intended to become an important venue for the sharing and analysis of African strategies and policies on TVSD. It is also a platform of expertise capable of supporting countries in the implementation of policies and actions to enable both adults and young people to acquire the skills required by the labor market.

NORRAG's involvement in the Node's activities started in 2014.



Expert Meeting on the Education-Training Continuum (Abidjan, November 2016)

In the context of the Node’s continuing commitment to cooperation in the field of TVSD, the 2016 Expert’s meeting priorities were:

  • The establishment of an effective continuum between education and training at all levels;
  • The promotion of continued access to education and training throughout life for young people and adults;
  • The recognition of all forms and mechanisms of acquiring knowledge and skills.

The discussions were based on 18 country case studies and a literature review.

NORRAG has been involved in the production of the following documents in English and in French:

  • EN: The Education-Training Continuum: An analysis of the concept and its implications for education and training policies in Africa (available on request)
    FR: Le continuum éducation-formation: Une analyse du concept et de ses implications pour les politiques éducatives et de formation en Afrique
  • EN: A Compendium of African Experiences in Promoting the Implementation of the Education and Training Continuum: a state-of-the art cross-national analysis of policy and practice in 17 countries (available on request - French version coming soon)
  • EN: Relevant and Quality Training for Teachers, Trainers and Entrepreneurs: A Key Condition for an Efficient Education-Training Continuum. Linking Kigali 2015 and Abidjan 2016 (available on request).


Ministerial Conference (Kigali, October 2015)

The Kigali Conference is a follow-up to the Abidjan Conference on Providing Africa's Youth with Skills and Training for Jobs  held in July 2014. The theme was to primarily focus on trainers and entrepreneurs involved in the training of youth both in and out of the formal technical and vocational system.

On the one hand, the Conference focused on the training of trainers in both public and private training centers that are faced with the task of imparting skills and competencies needed by their training staff to adapt to the evolving trades and professions as they train the youth.

On the other hand, the Conference also focused on the training of entrepreneurs. Based on the 25 national reports submitted by the ICQN/TVSD countries during the July 2014 Ministerial Conference, all of them are confronted with a situation whereby the fast majority of the youth entering the labor market lacks appropriate qualification and learns most of the skills and competencies on the job.

In a few countries, the training of entrepreneurs will necessarily entail the strengthening of the training competencies of artisans as they are masters within traditional apprenticeship or the renovated/modernized traditional apprenticeship.
>> Conference website
>> Literature Review



Ministerial Conference on Providing Africa's Youth with Skills and Training for Jobs (Abidjan, July 2014)

The 2014 Ministerial Conference - first major regional event organized by the ICQN/TVSD brought together about 100 participants from twenty eight countries, which produced studies on national strategies to integrate and create jobs for the youth: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroun, Cap Verde, Congo, DRC, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
>> conference website
>> conference documents

The studies on Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger and South Africa were commissioned and supported by NORRAG, in partnership with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

In addition to the organisers and partners, experts working on themes related to youth’s integration in the world of work also attended the conference.

The conference addressed the crucial issues of training, professional integration and employment in Africa, youth employment being one of the greatest challenges facing the continent as it strives to eradicate poverty, ensure social cohesion and accelerate sustainable development. 

Based on the country reports provided by the ministers, the ministerial meeting shared the lessons learned from strategies implemented by countries to integrate youth in the work force and create jobs.

The conference concluded with the signature by 25 ministers of the “Declaration of Ministers Responsible for Technical and Vocational Skills Development”, which sets out the decisions made by the Conference of Ministers. Two plans were adopted: the Action Plan for Inter-Country Cooperation and the ICQN-TVSD’s development plan for the 2014-2017 period.

The Action Plan for Inter-Country Cooperation focuses on the three following areas:

  • Analysis and practical implementation of inter-country cooperation on experiences and mechanisms concerned with facilitating job creation, particularly for youth;
  • Countries’ investment in the acquisition of trainers’ and entrepreneurs’ skills;
  • Implementation of the education/training continuum.

The ministers also adopted a plan for the development and empowerment of the ICQN-TVSD, which should serve as a forum for inter-country sharing and cooperation on TVSD and promote research on TVSD at the national and regional levels. It will be headed by a steering committee and will have an institutional anchor in Côte d’Ivoire Ministry of Technical and Vocational Training (MEMEASFP), which will provide technical and financial support.

>> Development Plan

Regarding the 2014/2017 Development Plan of the ICQN, NORRAG insisted in particular on point 3.b, stating that the ICQN should promote TVSD research at national and regional levels. These decisions reaffirm the importance already highlighted during the ADEA 2012 Triennale conference of rooting TVSD policies in data, evidence and analysis.