Africa wants India to skill its youth. Several countries from the ‘Black Continent’ want India to skill their young population.

According to the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), many African countries have opted for Indian expertise and experience in skilling programmes for youths citing cultural affinity with India, aversion to Western countries who “look down upon” their underdeveloped countries and Chinese hawkishness.

A tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) through the National Skill Development Corporation, World Bank and Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania. The six African countries are members of the Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET). 

Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NSDC, Manish Kumar, told MyNation that a Kenyan delegation was in India this May for sharing the Indian experience in skilling.

“A delegation from the Ministry of Education in the Republic of Kenya visited the skill ministry, associated organisations and NSDC between May 10 and May with the objective of learning best practices. The Kenyan department is relatively new and intends to gather knowledge about running the department and ministry successfully and wants to come up with an action plan for identifying and reducing skills gap and improving the employability of youth,” Kumar said.

“The purpose of the exchange program with PASET countries was to provide them with an opportunity to learn about the skills development landscape in India and explore avenues for collaboration with Indian training institutions and skills development agencies responsible for system performance,” NSDC MD said.

Kumar also told MyNation that several of NSDC-funded training providers have already, in business-to-business arrangements, set up skill development centres in various nations such as Ethiopia, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa for training the local youth.

“India recognises that next demographic dividend is in Africa and India, which has achieved early maturity in skilling ecosystem can provide necessary technical assistance to African nations for strengthening their skill development ecosystem,” Kumar added.

Some of the areas where India can provide assistance and collaborate with African nations:

  • Policy formulation and strengthening for skill development including supporting and reforming technical and vocational systems where required
  • Methodologies for skill gap assessment
  • Development result-oriented skill development interventions
  • Institutional reforms
  • Occupational standards, quality assurance, qualification framework, regulatory mechanisms, assessment frameworks
  • Industry bodies such as sector skill councils
  • Mechanisms for delivery of training, including recognition of prior learning
  • Capacity building/ training of trainers and assessors