Market entry and vocational training in Africa

Qualification is the key to economic development and social participation – many African countries have a lot of catching up to do, especially in vocational education and training.

The VDMA Africa Initiative is focusing on new forms of development cooperation that drive local value creation and focus on the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises. The VDMA training centres provide sustainable structures that enable long-term, needs-based training and further education of urgently needed skilled workers. In a 2019 study by the Global Perspectives Initiative, the companies surveyed rated the shortage of skilled workers – alongside concerns about political stability, legal certainty and corruption – as a key risk to investing in Africa1.

The fact that dual vocational training in Africa has a lot of catching up to do is shown by many different studies. There are many reasons for this – a lack of experience in dual vocational training, the relatively poor image of non-academic training and a lack of structures are among them2. In Nigeria, for example, domestic industry is working intensively to integrate the concept of “Technical and Vocational Education and Training” (TVET) more strongly into its own business models and in this way to intensify the interaction between state TVET institutions and industry3. This is precisely where the VDMA Africa Initiative comes in, by working together with local actors on industry-related vocational education and training. All partners are united in the knowledge that qualified personnel is the key to economic success. This applies not only to local companies, but also to German companies, which can gain a foothold in African markets through vocational training. In this way, they can tap into the diverse market potential and increase their international competitiveness.

With its initiative, the VDMA is also making an important contribution to tackling current socio-political challenges. The training centers offer local people the opportunity to gain real employment prospects through qualification and thus to participate in social life. In this respect, the VDMA’s commitment to Africa is not just a market development program – it is also closely linked to the issue of migration and supports more sustainable thinking and action.

1Investments of German Business in Africa, study by the Global Perspectives Initiative and the Institut für Demoskopie Allensbach, 2019, downloaded February 19, 2021

2International Education, Vocational Education and Training in Focus: Africa and Latin America, study by DLR Projektträger Europäische und Internationale Zusammenarbeit on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), 2018, downloaded on 19 February 2021

3Target Market Analysis Nigeria (Education and Training), Study by Afrika-Verein Veranstaltungs-GmbH on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), 2019, downloaded on 19 February 2021

VDMA EV also photo