The aim of the EUR 6m of support for the National Vocational Preparedness Institute (INPP), for which the agreement was signed on 20 February, is to improve the quality of training provision. It has been tailored to meet the needs of young people and economic sectors and will, moreover, finance the refurbishment of two training centers in Matadi (Bas-Congo) and Bukavu (South Kivu). It is part of national efforts to overhaul the vocational training system and France’s increased support in this sector under the Debt Reduction-Development Contract (C2D).
Vocational training, a major issue for DRC
Vocational training is a crucial issue for DRC, both for its economic development and for social cohesion and poverty reduction. It is also a sector that is in the process of being overhauled and faces significant challenges. Indeed, while companies operating in DRC regularly employ foreign workers, including for laborer jobs, 60% of the population is under 20 and unemployment is extremely high, particularly youth unemployment.
Most public technical education institutes are currently in a dilapidated state. The facilities and equipment are not geared to students’ needs and trainers lack qualifications.
Private education institutions, for their part, are unable to compensate for the deficiencies of public institutions.
The challenge today is therefore to meet strong demand from both families, who are willing to invest in their children’s education when they can afford to, and from the production sector where there is ever-growing demand.
To this end, the Government has set out to define a national vocational training policy in DRC, with support from Belgian Technical Cooperation and the International Labour Office. A Consultative Committee comprising the different donors (development financiers) and ministries in question has been organizing meetings since 25 February, with the aim of promoting synergies among stakeholders.
Students from the National Vocational Preparedness Institute. Photo by AFD - C. Arnaud
The project will also refurbish buildings and facilities in two INPP training centers in Matadi and Bukavu. The aim is for these centers to become real pools of expertise in the Bas-Congo and South Kivu provinces. These two centers had been identified as priorities as they are located in regions with a dynamic economy and due to the refurbishment works that have already started.
Finally, the last project component concerns capacity building for the steering and management of INPP. The aim is to allow INPP to considerably improve its management and strategic planning capacities and develop a sustainable financing plan, following the three years of the project’s technical assistance.