Public-private partnership supports skills training for young people in Zambia

The Minister of Higher Education, Professor Nkandu Luo, has paid a courtesy visit to Zambian Industrial Training Academy (ZAMITA), a project implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), in close cooperation with Northern Technical College (NORTEC), supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and the Swedish multinational manufacturing company, Volvo. During her visit to ZAMITA, Professor Luo met with the UNIDO Regional Representative, Khaled El Mekwad, who had presented credentials to the Government of Zambia the day before. The Minister commended the Government of Sweden, Volvo and UNIDO for partnering with NORTEC through the introduction of ZAMITA and called for more public-private development partnerships to improve the standards of learning in higher education institutions. She called on UNIDO to consider implementing similar programmes in other higher education institutions to enable more students to acquire the same skills as NORTEC students in a bid to help boost the country’s economy, as outlined in the 7th National Development Plan. El Mekwad indicated that with the support of international partners and the Zambian Government, NORTEC has managed to develop a modern curriculum, upgrade infrastructure and install hi-tech training equipment. He also highlighted the efforts of the Zambian Government, through the Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA), and the African Development Bank in providing bursaries to 280 students, while nine students are being sponsored by Canadian company, First Quantum Minerals, and the Zambia National Service as part of the same project. ZAMITA serves as a pilot project and offers a good example of a public-private partnership in the context of the Mining Skills and Training Framework, a national initiative by the Government of Zambia and key mining industry stakeholders that aims to improve skills development for the mining sector. Additionally, the project contributes to increasing the supply of skilled heavy equipment repair workers and generates productive employment for young Zambian men and women. The ZAMITA currently has 87 female students, as opposed to just one in 2016.       Source: moderndiplomacy