Entrepreneurship Skills Development through Technical and Vocational Education and Training in Africa

Abstract

 Presenter (s) Jeffrey B. Matu, Penn State University

Entrepreneurship Skills Development through Technical and Vocational Education and Training in Africa (submitted on September 23, 2019)

Africa has one of the youngest population in the world, with about 200 million people aged 15-24. In 2019, the ten countries with the youngest populations were in Africa and, in the majority of African countries, the young represent at least 20% of the total national population (Sow, 2019).

Whereas the proportion of young people is projected to decline worldwide, it is expected that Africa will remain at the same projected levels. Combined with population growth, this means that the number of young people in Africa will double by 2045, and that, by 2040, Africa will have the largest workforce in the world, surpassing both China and India (Fine et al., 2012).

This “demographic dividend” offers an unrivaled opportunity for economic and social development if the talents of the rapidly growing human capital are harnessed and used in more beneficial sectors of the economy. However, if the demographic dividend is not utilized effectively, they have the potential to disrupt and threaten social cohesion and political stability (Jacobs & Hawley, 2009).

It is this context that Africa’s Agenda 2063 prioritizes entrepreneurship skills development through education, particularly technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutes, as the blueprint that will support Africa’s aspirations to achieve progress, sustainable peace and development.

Based on this idea, the primary objective of my research is to identify entrepreneurship characteristics that are needed by entrepreneurs to develop and make recommendations for the TVET entrepreneurship courses. Additionally, the study will determine the process of skills development of African entrepreneurs, including identifying TVET policy influences and ideas of institutions like GIZ, UNESCO, USAID, and the World Bank.

Many African TVETs have been teaching entrepreneurship courses with a view of imparting skills that will bring about the creation of new ventures and empower students to become proactive in improving their overall well-being.

In Africa, entrepreneurship skills development is primarily focused on understanding entrepreneurial characteristics and skills, leadership skills, and management skills, which are needed to be successful as an entrepreneur. However, there has been limited progress made to identify and analyze the process of skills development used by African entrepreneurs, which can be used to create practical models to develop these processes in TVET courses. Further, there is limited progress in building a framework of pedagogical content for developing such skills in TVET education. Hence, what is missing from past empirical studies is a practical model that provides a process of skills development of entrepreneurs through TVETs.

To bridge the gap between entrepreneurship skills needs and TVET programs, there is a need for entrepreneurship -directed curriculum design to empower and enable students to be able to create their innovation and become proactive in improving their overall well-being.

This research paper aims to present a process for developing an entrepreneurship skills development curriculum that takes into account entrepreneurs needs and expectations. DACUM (Developing a Curriculum) is an occupational analysis process that is used to link entrepreneurs with academia.

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