It is now widely accepted that successful long-run development in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) will require significant improvements both in basic education and in technical and managerial skills in all sectors of the economy. In particular, major increases in labour productivity in tradable goods and service sectors are essential to achieve and sustain international competitiveness. However, while there is a general consensus that governments should take primary responsibility for the funding and provision of basic education, no such consensus exists concerning the role of government with respect to vocational education and training (VET). An important factor aggravating this lack of consensus is the paucity of recent, detailed empirical research on VET in Africa.
Since the late 1980s, there are clear indications that the impetus for reform of VET provision has increased markedly in Africa, in particular with the advent of comprehensive structural adjustment programmes and as donor support for VET has declined. However, there is an acute shortage of hard evidence about how VET policies and provision have changed during the last decade. Given this lack of information, it was decided to look in detail at VET provision since the mid-late 1980s in two African countries, namely Tanzania and Zimbabwe. The Tanzanian research project was funded by the Education Division of the Department for International Development (DFID) while the Zimbabwe study was supported by DFID's Economic and Social Committee for Research (ESCOR).
This report summarises the main findings of the Tanzanian and Zimbabwe studies.
Bennell, P.; Bendera, S.; Kanyenze, G.; Munetsi, N.; Muzulu, J.; Parsalaw, W.; Temu, J.; Emrode Kimambo; Sixtus Kiwia; Tichafa Mbiriyakura; Mukyanuzi, F. Vocational Education and Training in Tanzania and Zimbabwe in the Context of Economic Reform. (1999) 122 pp. ISBN 1 86192 061 x