IUCEA,China, and World Bank Collaborate to Empower TVET Faculty Across East Africa with Prestigious Scholarships

Prof. Gaspard Banyankimbona, the Executive Secretary of IUCEA, and Dr. Xiaoyan Liang, the Lead Education Specialist at the World Bank and Dr. Cosam Joseph, the Regional Project Coordinator for EASTRIP with students undertaking post graduate studies in China under the EASTRIP-China TVET Scholarship.

In a groundbreaking collaboration, the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) has joined forces with the People's Republic of China and the World Bank to announce a momentous development in the field of technical and vocational education. A total of twenty (20) distinguished scholarships have been awarded to lecturers and tutors hailing from Technical and Vocational Education and Training Institutes (TVET) across the East African region. The primary objective of these scholarships is to foster capacity building and amplify the academic and technical proficiency of faculty members affiliated with Regional TVET Centres of Excellence.

This notable endeavour, a pivotal facet of the East African Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project (EASPRIP), funded by the World Bank, strives to elevate the calibre and pertinence of TVET programs within the region. The beneficiary countries of this laudable initiative are Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania.

The recipients of these esteemed scholarships comprise eight scholars from Ethiopia, six from Kenya, and another six from Tanzania. A commendable stride toward gender inclusivity is discernible, with 30 per cent of the entire scholarship pool being awarded to accomplished female lecturers and tutors.

In an official communiqué, Professor Gaspard Banyankimbona, the Executive Secretary of IUCEA, expressed heartfelt gratitude to the People's Republic of China and the World Bank for their invaluable financial backing, which has paved the way for the realization of this exceptional scholarship program. Professor Banyankimbona underscored the seamless alignment of this initiative with the institution's overarching mission of revolutionizing the TVET systems in East Africa. He highlighted that the scholarship program's impetus is to fortify the capabilities of TVET faculty, thereby resulting in an augmentation of competencies and knowledge among educators. This, in turn, is poised to yield a marked enhancement in the quality and relevance of TVET programs.

"We firmly believe that this scholarship program will have a profound impact on tackling youth unemployment through the provision of practical, hands-on skill development," Professor Banyankimbona added.

Candidates vying for the prestigious EASTRIP-China TVET Scholarships underwent a rigorous and multi-tiered selection process, which encompassed assessments by college management, IUCEA, the China Scholarship Council, and esteemed Chinese universities. Eligibility for these scholarships hinged on candidates' employment status and their nomination by an institution hosting EASTRIP Regional Flagship Technical Institutes (RFTIs). Such nominations were fortified by working bond agreements between the candidates and their respective institutions.

These scholarships mark a significant milestone in East Africa's journey toward educational progress and regional cohesion. The fortunate recipients of these scholarships are poised to be change agents, propelling positive transformations in the realm of TVET education throughout the region and fostering a new generation of adept and skilled workers.


Article by Jed Mwangi