Officiating the 2019 CAPA Youth Forum, Rwanda's Minister of Youth stresses the role of TVET in sustainable development

While solemnizing the opening of the Commonwealth Association of Technical Universities and Polytechnics in Africa (CAPA) Youth Forum on August 26, 2019, the Rwanda's Minister of Youth Honorable Rosemary Mbabazi said the Technical and Vocational and Education and Training (TVET) must play important roles in implementing and promoting sustainable development.

''TVET institutions are major suppliers of workforce who will be in the forefront in dealing directly with sustainable issues. Education is a basic human right and a key tool for national development,'' she said,

''It is also linked to human resource development, thereby impacting on economic growth and the wider development of individuals and societies.''

She went on to say that this implies that education should not only include the acquisition of knowledge, but also skills aimed at achieving an all-round individual for the roles and challenges in the society.

The CAPA Secretary General  Mrs. Jahou S. Faal said that it was a second CAPA Pan-African Forum which is a platform to exchange ideas on how TVET skills could innovatively be revoked to create wealth and employment and tackle all contemporary challenges facing young people on the continent.

Mrs. Jahou S. Faal  said that as part of fulfilling demands by CAPA through the executive and partners, it brings together the students' leadership in TVET from CAPA membership. She ensured that this forum will be productive as CAPA strives  to find solutions of problems that TVET sector is facing today.

"CAPA is working with stakeholders to find solutions as a way forward for TVET in Africa. It is therefore our sincere hope that this forum shall empower youth to look at entrepreneurship for different perspectives not only entrepreneurship but also the innovative ideas." CAPA SG Mrs. Jahou S. Faal

In this remarks, the Vice Chancellor of Rwanda Polytechnic Dr. James Gashumba said that males and females are given equal chances to have access on TVET education and the most focus is put upon young people.

''In Rwanda, we really put young people center-stage. The same way we do not ignore women, young girls. We put them center-stage,'' said Dr. James Gashumba, ''We are going to listen from you and make interactions,'' he adds, addressing the youth present.  

For youth who participated in this forum, this is an impressive opportunity for them to share various ideas that enforce them to work together to reach the necessitated positive transformation of Africa. Here are some of them:

"Everyone is responsible to find the solutions to challenges facing Africa, let us search what to do for impacting our community," says Latifa Salissou Hassane, a Master’s student in Software Engineering, Higher School of Telecommunications in Niger.

"We need to be transformed to transform others, we should have a team work spirit," says Niyigena Assoumpta from IPRC Tumba

"You need to be a leader for yourself before leading others. This occurs in the system of giving them or teaching them to take responsibility. Building a better economic future requires people, not just infrastructure." Yvette Mukamwiza, a student from IPRC Ngoma.

The Youth Leadership Development Forum is a part of CAPA Conference and is  being held within two days (August 26 – 27) in collaboration with Africa Union Commission (AUC). The forum aims at contributing to achieving  one of the pillars of AU Agenda 2063 i.e. youth networking and empowerment, being also one of CAPA’s fundamental objectives.

It is featuring facilitators from AUC and CAPA as well as youth representatives. The participants are talking about some issues  mainly developing future leaders of Africa for the 21st century; the role of youths in the implementation of the AU Continental TVET Strategy; and achieving peace and unity in Africa through appreciation of Africa’s religious and cultural diversity.

This 2019 CAPA Youth Forum brought together 20 countries from Africa and among its items is an Exhibition of industrial technologies and R&D innovations by TVET institutions, research institutes and local industries.

Established through a resolution at the Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers held at Accra, Ghana on March 7, 1977, CAPA is represented in twenty African countries divided into three regions namely: Eastern Region (Rwanda, Mauritius, Kenya, Uganda, Seychelles, Tanzania); Western Region (Ghana, Nigeria, Gambia and Sierra Leone); and Southern/Central Region (Swaziland, Lesotho, Malawi, Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia).

The current membership stands at over 200 Technical Universities, Polytechnics and Technical Colleges. Since inception, the headquarters seat of CAPA has been at the Technical University of Kenya (formerly Kenya Polytechnic) in Nairobi, under a diplomatic agreement with the Government of Kenya.