The Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering, and Technology (PASET) conference will be opening in Nairobi in April 2024, bringing together government ministers, senior government officials, education stakeholders, and young leaders to discuss and agree on policies and initiatives that will assist in laying the foundations for industrial takeoff and in most African countries.

PASET is an industrial strategy of African governments in collaboration with the World Bank and partners like the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeking to aid their quest for industrialization through education with an emphasis on applied sciences, engineering, and technology from TVET level to higher education and research.

“For African countries, there is no better time than now to accelerate their socio-economic transformation by developing skilled professionals in applied sciences, engineering, and technology (ASET) fields so that millions of youth can integrate faster into an increasingly innovative and technological workforce and address the continent’s challenges through scientific and technical research and innovation,” World Bank says.

Since its creation in 2013, the PASET program has 12 member countries, which are Rwanda, Senegal, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Tanzania, Mozambique, Benin, Somalia, Burkina Faso, and Ghana, and high-level representatives and ministers of education from these countries will be attending the meeting at Kenya’s capital this April.

The meeting, which is held under the theme: ‘Leveraging Technical, Vocational and Technical Training (TVET) in the knowledge and skills ecosystem for Africa’s Industrialization,’ is being chaired by the Government of Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu, who heads the Ministry of Education.

Yesterday, he met with some PASET partners, including those from the World Bank, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the International Labour Organisation, UNESCO, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) concerning the upcoming conference.

Machogu said Africa faces an acute shortage of manpower in critical areas that require Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), and PASET has the potential to help the continent address the skills and knowledge gaps in the areas, as quoted by Kenya News Agency.

In attendance were the Principal Secretary for Basic Education, Dr. Belio Kipsang, and his counterparts from the State Department for Higher Education and Research, Dr. Beatrice Muganda Inyangala, and Dr. Esther Thaara Muoria from the State Department for Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) among other senior officials.