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Students in the metal workshop of a vocational training institute in Accra, Ghana

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Working together to create sustainable growth and jobs in Africa

Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation

The population of Africa continues to grow. Ever greater numbers of young people are entering the job market, hoping to find a job that will enable them to earn a proper living and will provide decent prospects for the future.

Around 20 million new jobs are needed every year. Many of these jobs could be created by up-and-coming African businesses, or by foreign companies investing in Africa. However, investment constraints and trade barriers are acting as a strong brake on private sector activity in Africa. Inadequately qualified staff, a lack of infrastructure and underdeveloped markets are posing huge challenges for the private sector.

That is why the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is using a Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation in order to support German, European and African companies and investors in their business activities in Africa.

What do we want to achieve?

The goal of the initiative over the next few years is to create 100,000 jobs and 30,000 training places in Africa, to improve local working conditions, and to promote sustainable economic growth. In 2019, 230 million euros were made available for this purpose.

The Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation is also contributing to the implementation of the Marshall Plan with Africa and to the G20 investment partnership called "Compact with Africa".

The initiative is currently being implemented in Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal and Tunisia, and is being closely coordinated with the work being carried out by the advice centres for jobs, migration and reintegration.

Morocco: Further processing of solar cells for photovoltaic companies

What is our starting point?

Projects and programmes under the special initiative currently concentrate on three areas:

Fostering the attractiveness of business locations and industries

Together with our partner countries we are working to foster business locations – including business parks and industrial zones – that are attractive and likely to be successful in the long term. In addition, we are giving targeted support to selected growth industries in our partner countries. These include, for instance, the automotive and aviation sectors in Tunisia, the automotive sector and the food industry in Morocco, and the information and communication technologies sector in Senegal.

Seamstresses in Ethiopia

Supporting sustainable investments

We offer companies and local partners special collaborative models within which we work with them to develop projects. If, in our meetings with these partners, specific investment constraints or trade barriers should be identified – such as a shortage of skilled workers, low levels of capacity among local suppliers or poor infrastructure –, then we will look at ways in which these may be eliminated in the long term so that investment becomes feasible. The primary goal of all our efforts is to create long-term, sustainable employment.

Morocco: Laboratory assistants discuss process sequences.

Promoting the SME sector

We aim to support the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (the "Mittelstand") in Africa by helping them to access new markets.

At the same time, we are helping to foster cooperation between African and German SMEs.

The aim is to stimulate business cooperation and durable supply structures and to bring an international dimension to domestic value chain activities.

 

Employee in a Tunisian company

Together with whom are we working on these projects? What implementing tools are available to us?

The BMZ has mandated the following organisations to implement the Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation: the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the KfW Development Bank, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) and the development agencies Foundation for Economic Development and Vocational Training (SEQUA) and Engagement Global – Service for Development Initiatives.

In our quest to create job and training opportunities, we work with not only businesses and investors but also higher education institutions, vocational training schools, business chambers and associations, and civil society organisations.

Several programmes and partnerships help to make the special initiative a success. These include:

  • German and European enterprises are working together to develop investment projects under the GIZ's global programme to promote "Training and Employment".
  • With its project entitled "Job partnerships and promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises", the GIZ is supporting the implementation of the special initiative in various partner countries and is building relationships with its African partners.
  • The facility "Investments for Employment" being offered by the KfW Development Bank is to provide funding to businesses and public partners so that they can carry out measures to remove obstacles to investment, e.g. by building training centres and access roads or by upgrading the electric power supply.
  • The "develoPPP for jobs" programme aims specifically to encourage development partnerships between European and African businesses which will lead to the creation of new jobs.
  • The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is running a University-to-Business Partnership Programme which supports practice- and work-oriented degree courses and exchange programmes in order to foster higher education in Africa.
  • SEQUA supported partnerships with business chambers and associations as well as vocational training institutions are helping to ensure that workers are trained and qualified in accordance with labour market needs, and seeking to strengthen Africa's small to medium-sized companies.
  • The "Alliance for Product Quality in Africa" brings together institutions with know-how in the field of quality infrastructure (such as the PTB and GIZ) and African companies engaged in this field with the aim of improving the quality of local products in order to improve their export potential.
  • And, finally, Engagement Global – Service for Development Initiatives, too, is working with civil society organisations to implement projects and programmes designed to foster training and job creation.
  • Training at the German automotive supplier Marquardt GmbH in Tunisia
    Job partnerships and SME promotion

    Tunisian Automotive Management Academy

    In October 2018, three German automotive suppliers – DRÄXLMAIER Group, LEONI AG and Marquardt GmbH – came to an agreement with the BMZ to help address the lack of skilled personnel in Tunisia's automotive sector.

  • Training at the German automotive supplier Marquardt GmbH in Tunisia
    Multiple-country approach

    Training and employment of young people in the ICT sector

    The Digital Skills Accelerator Africa (DSAA), in which several German companies are involved, was established as part of the special initiative and is helping to train and upskill young people in the field of information and communication technologies.

  • Training for trades and crafts in Côte d’Ivoire
    Business chamber partnerships

    Qualifications in crafts and trades in Côte d'Ivoire

    Since April 2019, the Saar-Lor-Lux Umweltzentrum (UWZ), the environmental department of the Chamber of Crafts of Germany's Saarland region, has been working with vocational training centres in Abidjan and Bouaké, as part of the Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation.

  • The textile factory Dignity DTRT Apparel, which creates jobs with fair working conditions and adequate pay in the up-and-coming textile sector in Ghana (DTRT stands for "do the right thing")
    develoPPP for jobs

    Creating jobs in Ghana's textiles industry

    Ghana has numerous textiles factories. There is little local demand for their products, and their employees have only limited knowledge of the international quality standards, compliance with which would make their products suitable for international export. Therefore, most of these factories are not able to realise their full potential for growth.

Training at the German automotive supplier Marquardt GmbH in Tunisia
Job partnerships and SME promotion

Tunisian Automotive Management Academy

In October 2018, three German automotive suppliers – DRÄXLMAIER Group, LEONI AG and Marquardt GmbH – came to an agreement with the BMZ to help address the lack of skilled personnel in Tunisia's automotive sector.

The solution they proposed: a Tunisian Automotive Management Academy was set up specifically to address this lack.

The Academy, the syllabus of which is akin to Germany's dual system of vocational education and training, is to upskill local staff, thereby helping to create an additional 260 training places and 7,500 jobs in the participating companies.

Initially, the three German companies involved had taken part in a project development workshop under the auspices of the Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation.

During the workshop it became clear that the lack of skilled middle management staff was hampering local investments.

In September 2019, the first training courses began. It is expected that other companies will be able to become involved in the Academy from 2020 onwards.

Training at the German automotive supplier Marquardt GmbH in Tunisia
Multiple-country approach

Training and employment of young people in the ICT sector

The Digital Skills Accelerator Africa (DSAA), in which several German companies are involved, was established as part of the special initiative and is helping to train and upskill young people in the field of information and communication technologies. The DSAA is starting with its operations in Ghana. From there, it will be rolled out in stages to other partner countries.

In Ghana, young people will receive instruction in information and communication technologies in a 6 to 18-month training programme. The skills and knowledge they acquire in the training programme should enable them to find jobs within the scope of IT outsourcing, This means they will help to re-engineer the digital business processes of international companies in Ghana. The DSAA also comprises measures aimed at the recruitment and inclusion of people with disabilities. As a result of these measures, as many as 5,000 new jobs could be created in the partner countries participating in the special initiative.

In order to establish the DSAA on a long-term basis and across national borders, many of the companies involved founded an association in late 2019, whose task it is to coordinate the DSAA's further activities.

Training for trades and crafts in Côte d’Ivoire
Business chamber partnerships

Qualifications in crafts and trades in Côte d'Ivoire

Since April 2019, the Saar-Lor-Lux Umweltzentrum (UWZ), the environmental department of the Chamber of Crafts of Germany's Saarland region, has been working with vocational training centres in Abidjan and Bouaké, as part of the Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation. The purpose of this collaboration is to enhance the vocational education and training of people working in plumbing, climate technology and electrical engineering.

The aim of the project is to train and upskill 350 craftsmen and -women, so as to improve their prospects on the job market. When the project with the German partner has ended, the Ivorian vocational training centres are to continue the training programmes under their own steam.

To help implement the project, the UWZ is also working with Côte d'Ivoire's Chambre Nationale des Métiers (CNM-CI) and its Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie (CCI-CI), the country's chambers of crafts and commerce respectively. They are to establish the direct links needed with local enterprises and to be the point of contact for Côte d'Ivoire's government concerning the project.

The German company Villeroy & Boch and its local business partners have also expressed an interest in joining the project, since they need well-trained craftsmen and -women and are keen to support the training measures.

The textile factory Dignity DTRT Apparel, which creates jobs with fair working conditions and adequate pay in the up-and-coming textile sector in Ghana (DTRT stands for "do the right thing")
develoPPP for jobs

Creating jobs in Ghana's textiles industry

Ghana has numerous textiles factories. There is little local demand for their products, and their employees have only limited knowledge of the international quality standards, compliance with which would make their products suitable for international export. Therefore, most of these factories are not able to realise their full potential for growth.

The development partnership with Ghana's growing textile sector supports efforts to provide socially responsible jobs and model factories and aims to create vocational training programmes which would help to provide the skilled workers that the sector needs, thereby giving this growing sector a boost. The partnership pools the expert knowledge of private enterprises with that of Germany's development cooperation organisations.

Partners include the clothing manufacturer DTRT Apparel, which is already operating in Ghana; the company Ethical Apparel Africa (EAA); the pattern technology provider Gerber Technology; the supplier of needles for the textile production sector Groz-Beckert; and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), operating on behalf of the BMZ.

The partner organisations on the Ghanaian side are the Accra Technical Training Centre (ATTC) and the Association of Ghana Apparel Manufacturers (AGAM).

More than 2,500 members of staff from local participating textiles factories will benefit directly from this development partnership. And the involvement of private companies from the garment manufacturing sector means that the vocational training offered will be as practice-oriented as possible.

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