NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The World Bank on Thursday announced a new
financing tranche worth about 293 million U.S. dollars to
promote integration and technical training across the east
The lender said the
new funding that combines credit and grant will help boost
access to quality technical, vocational, education and training
(TVET) institutes and support regional integration in east
“We recognize the
transformational opportunity that human capital development and
regional integration presents for East Africa’s future,” Sajitha
Bashir, the World Bank’s education practice manager for eastern
and southern Africa, said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
“The World Bank is
committed to supporting the development of high quality skills
to expand regional economic corridors and regional
infrastructure projects that can unlock the continent’s growth
potential,” she added.
Kenya, Ethiopia and
Tanzania will benefit from the new World Bank funding, dubbed
East Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration
Project (EASTRIP), which will support technical training in
transport, energy, manufacturing and ICT sectors.
have rallied behind concerted efforts to promote integration
across Africa as a means to reduce barriers to trade, ease
movement of skilled workforce and boost economic growth.
The World Bank noted
that regional integration initiatives like the Northern Corridor
Integration Project (NCIP) and the Central Corridor Transit
Transport Facilitation Agency that seek to open markets have
created new demand for skilled labor.
Experts said that a
low literacy level that has created a yawning skills gap in
sub-Saharan Africa has undermined economic productivity in the
specialized technical and vocational education and training is
particularly acute in transport, energy, manufacturing and ICT,”
said World Bank Lead Education Specialist Liang Xiaoyan, who is
also team leader for the EASTRIP project.
“If not addressed,
the skills gap could seriously dampen the industrialization and
integration agenda in east Africa,” she added.