The Association of Technical Universities and Polytechnics in Africa (ATUPA) held its 2023 international conference in Accra.
The conference, which took place from August 27 to September 2, 2023, was held on the theme of “Mainstreaming Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for Skills Development, Mobility, and Resilient Economies in Africa.”
ATUPA was founded in 2019, following a resolution of the General Assembly of Heads of Member Institutions of the Commonwealth Association of Technical Universities and Polytechnics in Africa (CAPA). The decision was ratified by the Ministers of Education from AU member states at the Third Ordinary Session of the Specialized Committee on Education, Science and Technology (STC – EST III) in 2019.
The conference aimed to draw on the lessons learned from the limitations of existing TVET programming models to stimulate a post-pandemic debate among TVET stakeholders.
It sought to generate transnational and trans-institutional discussion themes and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) frameworks that would not only bring innovative approaches to TVET programming in Africa, but also harmonize the conception of TVET and its contributions to Africa’s social and economic development goals.
The conference highlighted the role of sustainable TVET models in building the resilience of African economies; generated consensus on the efficacy of harmonized TVET concepts in enhancing the employment outcomes of TVET graduates at regional and continental levels; and identified new knowledge streams on how digitization, diversity, and inclusion could be leveraged in building transnational and trans-institutional TVET linkages.
The conference also promoted shared understanding on how the optimization of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) competencies in TVET can spur entrepreneurial learning and work-ready skills among TVET graduates, and built active, multinational TVET research clusters and Strategic Interest Groups (SIGs) among ATUPA member institutions.