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Zambia Starts WorldSkills Africa Skills Competition Preparations
January 19, 2024 at 10:35

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A team of officials from African Union Development Agency -New Partnership for Africa's Development (AUDA-NEPAD) and WorldSkills International (WSI) is in Zambia to help Zambia adequately prepare for WorldSkills Africa Skills Competition in Livingstone, which will equip youths with relevant skills for employability and job creation.

President Hakainde Hichilema has expressed gratitude to the AU-that Zambia won the bid to host the WorldSkills Africa 2025 Competition in the tourist capital Livingstone. The Head of State said vocational education, training and capacity building are key to Zambia’s development and that is why through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) Government is investing in human capital through skills development to ensure the youths have a competitive advantage.

Speaking at Statehouse yesterday when he received a delegation from WorldSkills International (WSI) led by Vice president Dr. San Quei Lin President Hichilema urged the young people to stay tuned to opportunities that the competition will offer. “As we embark on the journey to host the WSI Competition next year, the third to be hosted in Africa after Kigali in Rwanda and Swakopmund in Namibia, we wish Mr Lin and the WSI all the best in the preparations and I want to assure you of Government’s cooperation,” President Hichilema said.

And speaking at the WorldSkills Africa 2025 Competition launch dinner at Radisson Blu Hotel in Lusaka last night WSI vice president Dr. San Quei Lin said Zambia has a population of over 20 million people out of which 60 per cent are young people and stressed the need to transform the youth into a productive workforce. Dr. Lin said WorldSkills Competition has proved to be a critical driver of skills advancement in the world and he added that he was happy that Zambia will host the competition in 2025.

meanwhile speaking at the same dinner Minister of Technology and Science Felix Mutati said Zambia will seize the moment of hosting the WorldSkills Africa 2025 Competition by ensuring that infrastructure in the host town Livingstone is improved. Mr. Mutati said Government will ensure that it rehabilitates Livingstone Institute of Business and Engineering Studies (LIBES) and equip it ahead of the WorldSkills Africa 2025 Competition.

He thanked the board members of WSI for the role it played to deliver honour upon Zambia to host the occasion and the African Union (AU) for recognizing and bestowing honour upon President Hichilema to be the champion for Africa for delivering education and skills.

Mr. Mutati said the country was confident that through President Hichilema’s leadership the skills landscape will be transformed especially now that Zambia has embarked on a critical journey to harness the talent and skills of the youths. He said Government will work across all the ministries as well as partners in the industry to ensure that the WorldSkills 2025 Competition is held successfully.

“The selection of Livingstone as a venue indicates that there is no place in Africa or the world where the smoke thunders, it only thunders in Zambia and Livingstone was chosen for a purpose,” Mr Mutati said.

And Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA) Director General Cleophas Takaiza said WorldSkills Africa 2025 Competition will not only provide a platform for African youth to compete and innovate in building a spirit of excellence but it will also be an inspiration for the youth to pursue TEVET. "We are riding on the WorldSkills International platform to review our standards in TEVET in terms of quality assurance of training, curriculum development, developing quality assessments, rebranding TEVET and networking towards the development of a relevant, competitive and efficient workforce."

Zambia has won the bid to host the WorldSkills Africa (WSA2025) Skills Competition in Livingstone next year. The WorldSkills International (WSI) and Africa Union (AU) are in the country to help Zambia adequately prepare for the Skills Competition. The Skills Competition promotes skills excellence and rebranding of technical and vocational skills for youth employability, job and wealth creation.

 The African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) is among the organizations that have collaborated with WorldSkills International undertaken the responsibility of establishing WorldSkills Africa, with a dedicated Desk aimed at fostering the embrace of skills competitions by African countries. The AUDA-NEPAD considers skills competitions as a pivotal Enabler in enhancing the capabilities of experts, trainers, and learners by setting global occupational standards as benchmarks.

The AU has started consultations with existing Africa-based WorldSkills International members and with the support of WorldSkills International. It is also working to formalize the governance, legal, and membership frameworks required for the Desk to become fully operational.  Therefore, AUDA-NEPAD and the African Union Commission (AUC) Department of Education, Science Technology and Innovation (AUC-ESTI) have shown interest in working with the Government of Zambia towards the successful hosting of the 2025 Skills Competition on the Continent. In line with the AU Vision 2063 on Skills Development; the 36th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of States and Governments held in February 2023, adopted Transformation of Education as the theme of the year for 2024.