On December 7, 2012, in a speech to the graduating class of Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki thanked the African Development Bank (AfDB) for its continued support to the development of Kenya's Education Sector.
Kenya's growing economy is hampered by a large shortage of skilled workers such as engineers and scientists. Forty per cent of Kenya's working population is either unemployed or underemployed.
The university, celebrating its sixth graduation ceremony, is a beneficiary of an AfDB project on Enhancement of Quality and Relevance in Higher Education, Science and Technology. This US $43.7 million project supports training institutions to build skills needed in the changing labour market.
An estimated 11,900 students, including women, will benefit from the project. In addition, 500 teaching staff in engineering and applied sciences will receive master's level training and a further 200 at the doctorate level. The project is expected to trigger an influx of skilled engineers that will benefit Kenya as well as East Africa.
As part of its New Education Model for Africa, the AfDB invests in education, science, technology and innovation 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.