EASTRIP: East Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project

The East Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project (EASTRIP) is a five-year project funded by the World Bank and the Governments of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania to increase the increased access and improve the quality of TVET programs that will be offered by the selected Regional Flagship TVET Institutes (RFTIs).

The project is designed to address skills shortage and mismatch, by providing technical, financial, and industry partnerships to improve the relevance and quality of training programs in the 16 selected RFTIs. The project supports the development of highly specialized TVET programs at diploma and degree levels for the training of technicians and TVET faculty, as well as industry-recognized short-term training, targeting regional priority sectors in transport, energy, manufacturing, and ICT.

Through the project, the three participating governments will provide support and resources to create and implement policies that allow TVET institutions to re-engineer their learning platforms and modes of delivery in order to meet the dynamic and ever-changing skills requirements of the market place.

EASTRIP facilitates regional integration by providing a regional platform to promote the exchange of policies and practices, students and faculty mobility, and harmonization of occupational standards and qualifications.

The project is being implemented at three different levels, including RFTIs, national at Ministries responsible for Education and TVET, and regional levels. The Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) hosts the regional component of the project as the Regional Facilitation Unit (RFU).

EASTRIP Objectives

The Project Development Objective (PDO) is to increase the access and improve the quality of TVET programmes in selected Regional Flagship TVET Institutes and to support regional integration in East Africa.

Project Outcomes

The project is expected to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Increase access to TVET programmes: student enrolment is expected to increase at regional TVET Institutes in programmes aimed at meeting skill needs of priority sectors including manufacturing, transport and infrastructure, power and energy, and information and communication technology (ICT).
  • Increasing the quality and relevance of TVET programmes: the project will develop accredited demand-driven programmes which will increase the employment prospects of graduates in priority sectors six months after graduation.
  • Supporting Regional integration: the supports development of qualifications that are bilaterally or regionally recognised.

Project Components

The project is implemented under the following three components:

Component 1: Strengthening selected Regional Flagship TVET Institutes for high-quality skills development in priority sectors.

The objective of this component is to strengthen the capacity of the 16 Regional Flagship TVET Institutes to produce high-quality skills for the regional sector markets in railway, highway, port management, energy, manufacturing, and ICT. It involves developing training programmes based on standards and qualifications recognized by the industries operating in the East Africa regional or international markets.  Each flagship institute has a specific specialisation with a set of training qualifications and enables students from countries across the East Africa region to join the programmes.

Component 2: Creating national TVET enabling environments

This component is implemented by Ministries of Education to create a national enabling policy environment that is critical to service delivery at the TVET institutes. It involves financing the development of policy and guidelines to facilitate student, graduate, and faculty mobility. It also involves developing industrial partnerships and strengthening the capacity of national agencies that are responsible for the approval of occupation standards, model curriculum, and accreditation of TVET programmes.

Component 3: Enhancing regional collaboration in TVET and project coordination

This component includes coordination and project implementation support at the 16 Regional Flagship TVET Institutes and the three national TVET systems. It includes networking, sharing knowledge and good practices, and the development of regional public goods to promote regional integration.

Project Governance

The project Management structure includes the Regional Steering Committee (RSC), the TVET Technical Advisory Board, and the Project Implementation Unit headed by the Project Coordinator. The IUCEA is the Regional Facilitation Unit (RFU) for the Project. The RSC is the highest decision making organ responsible for providing oversight and strategic implementation of the project.

Project Beneficiaries

The project is currently being implemented in three East African countries including Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania among 16 regional flagship TVET institutes selected through a transparent and competitive process.

Table 1: Regional Flagship TVET Institutes

Sector Focus Regional Flagship TVET Institute Country

Transport/

Infrastructure

Railway Dire Dawa  Polytechnic College Ethiopia
Railway Ethiopia Railway Academy Ethiopia
Marine Kenya Coast National Polytechnic Kenya
Air National Institute of Transport Tanzania
Road Kombolcha TVET Polytechnic College Ethiopia
Building Infrastructure Meru National Polytechnic Kenya
Highway Infrastructure Kenya Institute of Highway and Building Technology Kenya Kenya
Power/Energy Power/energy General Wingate Polytechnic College Ethiopia
Geothermal KenGen Geothermal Training Centre Kenya
Hydro Arusha Technical College Tanzania
Manufacturing Tool making/leather Federal TVET Institute Ethiopia
Textile/garment Hawassa TVET Polytechnic College Ethiopia
Textile Kisumu National Polytechnic Kenya
Leather DIT Mwanza Campus Tanzania
Agro-processing Holeta TVET Polytechnic College Ethiopia Ethiopia
ICT ICT DIT Dar es Salaam Campus Tanzania

 

Project Impact

By the end of the six-year investment period, the project is expected to have achieved the following results:

  1. The 16 RFTIs will have at least doubled their capacity and can collectively enrol at least 20,000 students on an annual basis in both long-term and short-term training programmes in the targeted disciplines.
  2. Cumulatively, the project will have directly benefitted close to at least 60,000 students with at least 30 per cent of the enrolment being female students.
  3. At least 310 staff will benefit from industrial attachment programmes and 230 staff will benefit from foreign exchange programme at the end of the project.
  4. The project will indirectly benefit all students who are enrolled in the flagship institutes due to improved management, teaching, and infrastructure.
  5. The project will benefit students and faculty who are in non-project TVET institutes that have a partnership arrangement with the flagship TVET institutes.
  6. Employers in the targeted industries will also benefit from an expanded and more qualified pool of skilled labour.

Purpose of the Project Communication Strategy

TVET institutions are currently faced with the challenge of low student enrolment brought about by poor public perception of TVET as a career option for leaners. A number of TVET courses are perceived as career of the last resort after students have failed to attain the required grades or financial resources to advance in advanced levels of education at Universities and other tertiary institutions.

 

For the TVET to become attractive to learners, there is need to address issues around perception and reputation, low quality, mismatch, and disconnect from the labour market. Changing technologies and processes, which come with the fourth industrial revolution, require new skills set, which TVET institutions can develop and provide. This communication strategy provides guidelines for engaging with various stakeholders and to communicate the value of TVET in East Africa and to position EASTRIP as a project that supports the development demand-driven skills for economic development and youth employment. TVET stakeholders among others include government education policy and decision makers, TVET institutions, labour market (public and private sectors), prospective TVET students, parents, development partners and communities at large.