02 Dec 2015 11:30am
WINDHOEK, 02 DEC (NAMPA) - The Government of Namibia and the European Union (EU) signed three financing agreements here on Tuesday.
The agreements, worth Euro 15 million (about N.dollars 225 million) will aid Vocational Education and Training (VET); a support programme to the National Planning Commission (NPC); and a Technical Cooperation Facility which amongst others will provide technical assistance for studies, analyses and other activities.
The three financing Agreements were signed by NPC Director-General, Tom Alweendo and the Head of the European Union (EU) delegation to Namibia, Jana Hybaskova.
They form part of a first financing decision under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) in favour of Namibia.
Alweendo stressed that Namibias economy cannot grow without a labour force that includes vocational training skills.
Its good to have all these financial agreements because we have identified vocational training skills as a need. But for this to work, I think we need also to address the perception especially amongst the youth that vocational training is not really a rewarding career and that vocational training is for those who did not make it to university.
The truth is far from that, we know that most of the technology we use like cellphones for example, were made by people with vocational training skills, he stressed.
The money will be allocated to support programmes that have been identified and formulated in line with Namibias development priorities as outlined in the fourth National Development Plan (NDP4), and also correspond with the joint EU Response Strategy for Namibia.
Of the total amount, the Namibia Training Authority (NTA) will receive Euro 9 million to establish a training hub comprising existing vocational training centres under the Promotion of Vocational Education and Training (PROVET) project funded by Germany and implemented by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).
Euro 4.5 million will be allocated to the support programme for the National Authorising Officer/National Planning Commission (NAO/NPC) which aims to strengthen the capacity of its officers to undertake the tasks associated with programme implementation.
The remaining Euro 1.5 million will be allocated to the Technical Cooperation Facility, which is aimed at provide technical assistance for studies, analyses and other activities, including the organisation and facilitation of conferences, seminars, workshops and training.
Hybaskova said the EU decided, with the previous and current Namibian Governments, to embark on a joint long-term process to strengthen the human resource, human capacity and human capabilities of Namibian people through education.
Together with some other agencies like the United Nations (UN) and the Namibian Government, we indicated that VET is a very important aspect that can fill the skill gaps of Namibian young people, to be able to enter the labour market properly, she explained.
The EDF is the main instrument for EU development cooperation with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) and is funded with contributions from the EU Member States.