African Great Lakes region: supporting market-oriented skills training

Initial vocational education and training
With PROMOST (Promoting Market-Oriented Skills Training and Employment Creation in the Great Lakes Region), Swisscontact is helping the governments of Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo in its efforts to modernise the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system. Three years ago, the project expanded its scope from Rwanda to neighbouring countries of Burundi and DRC, which are also part of the African Great Lakes region and closely tied to each other.

Over the past eight years, PROMOST has developed a mechanism to significantly strengthen vocational education: more than 11,000 people in the region have benefited either directly or indirectly from the project, 85% of whom have increased their incomes.

Further results include:

  • Youth have learned the importance of self-reliance and professional qualifications.
  • Women have enhanced their financial autonomy by diversifying their professional activities.  
  • Small and Medium Enterprises have increased their productivity and incomes.
  • Training institutes and artisans have improved their ability to react more effectively to the needs of the market.
  • Trainers in TVET have increased their capacity for quality training delivery.

Thus, PROMOST has helped youth to attain educational qualification and adults to professionalise their skills. The promising economic sectors in the region were thereby strengthened and living conditions of the population have improved.

The project’s support for the vocational education system is comprehensive: it improves pedagogic and didactic training methods while being mindful of the organisational and administrative technicalities of vocational education. In addition, the project considers the transfer of knowledge and skills, capitalising on know-how, the exchange of experience, and impact analysis. 

The establishment of sustainable, permanent links between the private sector and TVET providers is one of the priorities of the project and is crucial in ensuring training provision is market-oriented. The project enhanced the capacity of the private sector to effectively network amongst themselves and interact with the TVET sector to improve their service provision, productivity and competitiveness.

The impact of PROMOST on its partners

PROMOST’s strategy was to deliver know-how, build networks and combine the transfer of expertise with the equipment and infrastructure needed at three levels: societal, organisational and individual. This resulted in the development and implementation of a strong partnership between the government, public and private TVET delivery and private sector demand at decentralised levels. This cooperation is a prerequisite for private sector participation in a financially sustainable TVET system.

Decentralised TVET partnerships are an essential source of dynamism, creativity and initiative that is highly responsive to local socio-economic demand. By mobilising all stakeholders, including enterprises, local leaders and training providers, PROMOST utilised the communities’ private and public training resources to the full and made the whole TVET system more demand-driven.

PROMOST is an SDC (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation)-funded project that Swisscontact is implementing in Burundi, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.