A call for entrepreneurial transformation of the Ethiopian TVET


On Tuesday May 17, in the beautiful garden of the Netherlands Embassy in Addis Ababa, the first policy dialogue took place in a series initiated by MSM in the framework of the Nuffic-funded Bright Future in Agriculture project. The topic under discussion was entrepreneurship development within the technical vocational education and training system (TVET). Insightful recommendations have been made by a purposefully selected group of experts to the Ministry of Skills and Labour on how to achieve an entrepreneurial transformation of the Ethiopian TVET.

In his opening remarks, Mr Henk Jan Bakker, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, referred to the challenging transformation that Ethiopia is in, i.e. from a government-led economy to a market economy. This requires the government to interfere less and the private sector to step in. Most challenging is that becoming more entrepreneurial requires a mindset-change in Ethiopia, which is most difficult. State Minister for Labour and Skills, Dr Beker Shale, subsequently stressed the importance that Ethiopia should learn from others and transform these lessons into a home-grown economic policy. For Ethiopia to come out of poverty, entrepreneurship is everything he stated.

In the dialogue itself, a multitude of recommendations were expressed, among which the importance of a fundamental cultural change in the country towards becoming more positive about doing business; the need to build entrepreneurial skills as of childhood, hence in the full educational column; the necessity of government and private sector to work hand-in-hand as equal partners; the need to structurally increase resources for the TVET sector, and the big task of capacitating teachers.

In his closing remarks, Huub Mudde, Project Director of BFA, Senior Project Consultant MSM, stressed the importance of promoting the stories of role models and of nurturing entrepreneurial behaviour as of childhood. As illustration, he shared the example that during Kingsday in the Netherlands in every village, town or city, young boys and girls try to earn some money at flea markets by selling old stuff, self-made food, or by doing a performance.

MSM is co-organizing the series of policy dialogues with the African Agribusiness Academy-Ethiopia Branch, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Technical and Vocational Training Institute (TVTI), and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. This first policy dialogue was based on a study commissioned by MSM in which the entrepreneurship education at agricultural TVET colleges and the national TVET teacher training institute was assessed. This study, undertaken by a team of the Ethiopia Entrepreneurship Development Centre, was translated in a Policy Brief. This Brief will be finalized in the next month, incorporating the results of the policy dialogue, and formally presented at the Ethiopian Ministry of Skills and Labour and other stakeholders.

The aim of the policy dialogues is to create a space for different actors of government agencies and donor organizations and - projects, private sector and sectorial associations to actively support the TVET sector to converse on ways that can affect improvements in the Ethiopian TVET system. Upcoming dialogues will focus on internship - and apprenticeship programs, gender and women empowerment, public-private governance and finance, skill development, and TVET in support of marginalized groups.

About Bright Future in Agriculture
Bright Future in Agriculture is a four-year project that supports the Ethiopian agricultural technical and vocational education and training (TVET) sector. The project is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and is managed by Nuffic as part of the Orange Knowledge Programme. There are in total 12 beneficiary institutions in Ethiopia out of which the Ethiopian Technical University and Arba Minch University are the lead partners. Maastricht School of Management from the Netherlands is the lead implementer and together with 8 consortium member institutions from the Netherlands, Ethiopia and South Africa partake as providers. For more information and updates visit the BFA website. 

Orange Knowledge Programme
This project is part of the Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) which is funded by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and managed by Nuffic. For more information click here.

MSM's Expert Centre on Emerging Economies

This institutional collaboration project is part of MSM's Expert Centre on Emerging Economies. The department is an expert centre on local economic development in emerging and developing markets.‚Äč We capacitate managers and professionals from government, private sector, NGOs, and post-secondary education in Africa, Asia, Middle East, and Latin America. We offer consultancy and customized training programs, and we manage complex projects in key sectors, e.g. water, agriculture and health. For more information click here.

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