The African Development Bank has approved a US $43.7 Million loan to the Kenyan Government to enhance education and training institutions and develop skills needed in the changing labor market.
The Loan, approved on 14 November, will also help the university system to build capacity to deliver quality and relevant education.
Kenya's growing economy is hampered by a large shortage of skilled workers such as engineers. 40% of Kenya's working population is either unemployed or underemployed.
The Support to the Enhancement of Quality and Relevance in Higher Education, Science and Technology Project is in line with Kenya's Vision 2030, which focuses on science, technology and innovation to improve the country's competitiveness regionally and globally.
The project will provide equipment for science and engineering workshops and laboratories, increase access to engineering and applied sciences programs, and enhance the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology's capacity to formulate and carry out sound evidence-based policies.
An estimated 11,900 students, including women who will be enrolled in targeted faculties, will benefit from the project. In addition 500 engineering and applied sciences staff at institutions will get training at the master's level and a further 200 at the doctorate level. The project is expected to trigger an influx of skilled engineers that will benefit Kenya and the sub-region.
As part of its Human Capital Development Strategy, the AfDB is investing in education to raise competitiveness and skills, particularly among women in Africa. The continent's rapidly growing workforce is predicted to match or even surpass those of China and India by 2050. For Africa to capture this demographic dividend, it needs to invest in education and training that matches skills with jobs in an increasingly technologically-driven market.