Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has seen the need to harmonise the education sector of member states, especially in the field of entrepreneurship and has partnered Skill-‘G’ Nigeria Limited in the promotion of science, technology, technical and vocational education in Nigeria and West Africa.
The two-day meeting which had African Union, World Bank, UNESCO, NEPAD and diverse development partners in attendance and with the theme ‘Better Harmonisation of the Educational System of the Region and the Development of the Human Capital Based on Knowledge Economy’ had experts from the region who brainstormed on and drew a road map for ECOWAS member countries.
The ECOWAS Commissioner for Education, Science and Culture from Burkina Faso, Mr. Boly Hamidou, said the training was beyond acquiring certificates, but hinges on the need to promote skills acquisition for the development of the region.
“We are trying to harmonise everything to make the people in the region to move around and get the knowledge to increase their skill and be hard workers for the development of the region. This is our aim at the ECOWAS now.
“It is not only diplomas and certificates but all about knowledge and giving all the possibility to be able to develop practical knowledge and being real entrepreneurs because diploma is sometimes for those who want to work with the public service. We want people to know the knowhow and being able to go to the field and develop it by themselves and being business people.
“We are starting now and from now to four-five years, we want to see that professionalism of our youths has really improved. There is a benefit that people can acquire during the training.
“We will do a demand-driven curricular that fits our needs. What is involved in this can be compared to somethings that have already being done because what is needed in Nigeria is needed in Ghana and Cote d’voire and so there’s need for us to quickly seize this opportunity,” he added.
The CEO and Managing Director of Skill-‘G’, Dr. Gregory Ibe, said the company was specifically brought on board to help design strategy framework for ECOWAS Technical and Vocational Education (TVET) as well as skills improvement for employability in the region.
“The partnership with Skill-‘G’ is in the delivery of specialised education centres in the 15 member countries of ECOWAS and it is a thing of note.
“We started to work with UNESCO on how to deepen TVET, STEM education and it has eventually merited recognition by ECOWAS for adoption in all. The 15 member nations,” he said.