COMMUNIQUE OF THE LAUNCHING OF SASASNET AND THE WORKSHOP, HELD AT ABUJA CONTINENTAL HOTEL FROM 24TH TO 25TH JULY, 2023
The recent Regional Workshop in Cotonou, Republic of Benin, held February 23-24, 2023, organized by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the World Bank, and the Government of Benin, deliberated on these informal apprenticeships across Sub-Saharan Africa and concluded that Governments and Organized Private Sector (OPS) must join hands to upgrade and formalize all informal apprenticeships in the region. It was in that workshop that some delegates decided to set up the Sub-Saharan Africa Skills and Apprenticeship Stakeholders Network (SASASNET), initially for English Speaking countries as we noticed Francophone Africa are far ahead of us in skills development.
The primary objective is for our Sub-Saharan Africa to share experiences in apprenticeship training in the skills development agenda to enable us become self-sufficient and even have surplus certified skilled labour for export.
It is therefore, envisaged that SASASNET shall create a platform to share experiences in this effort and even share our various National Occupational Standards as well as, and develop an African Skills Qualification Framework (ASQF) that will enable ease of labour migration across the Continent especially with the upcoming Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA) initiative.
Similarly, it creates opportunity to share knowledge and experience regarding policies and practices on how to preserve and improve apprenticeship systems in the informal economy to promote quality, innovation, economic development, and social justice, and to support policy dialogue for the incorporation of these good practices into national and regional training and employment promotion policies.
Consequently, the Workshop deliberated and observed the following:
- The need for SASASNET to engage in vigorous public awareness and engagement to change the negative perception of public on value of skills and apprenticeship.
- The Dangote Refinery in Nigeria under construction has engaged over 11,000 workforce from India, while our youths lack the required skills to be engaged.
- Africa should avoid a repeat of the same in the upcoming $25bn Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline traversing Gulf of Guinea to Europe.
- The absence of National Occupational Standards in many countries.
- The absence of pathways to recognise skills obtained in the informal sector in most SSA countries.
- The lack of opportunite for skilled labour migration across African regions.
- The negative social perception of skilled workers.
- The weak interface that exists between trade unions/associations and skills/apprentceship development.
- The absence of coordination of skills development activities and interventions from development partners.
- The absence of inclusivity and equality in skills training and development especially for women, vulnerable youths and persons with disabilities.
- The weak partnership and cooperation in skills training amongst English speaking SSA countries.
The workshop deliberated and decided on the ‘ABUJA ACTION PLAN ON AFRICAN SKILLS AND APPRENTICESHIPS’ with the following resolutions:
- Skills development activities should be streamlined under the National Skills Council or similar bodies across member Countries.
- Integrate pathways that allow certificate recognition and skills migration across continent and globally
- Each member country should harmonise their Training, Qualification and Certification Framework and transmit same to the SASASNET Secretariat
- Mapping and needs assessment of informal sector skills across the economy in collaboration with national public institutions.
- Create an “African Skills Passport” (ASP) that allow legal skills migration within Sub-Saharan Africa.
- SASASNET shall network with the African Union to establish a Continental Skills Qualifications and Certification Board (CSQCB) that meets international best practice.
- SASASNET shall promote the development of a REGISTER (Data Base) and Labour Market Information System (LMIS) of skilled and certified African youths.
- SASASNET shall promote the skills development and Apprenticeship Policy in the member Countries.
- Innovative Funding for Apprenticeship shall be developed by each member country
- Relevant Trade unions/associations should be involved as stakeholders in all the processes of Apprenticeship training.
- Each member country shall development its National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) with adequate provisions for the informal sector.
- Provide appropriate legislation for NSQFs.
- SASASNET shall collaborates with World Skills to promote competition and talent hunt amongst African youths.
- Integrate NEET (Not in Education, Employment and Training) into the apprenticeship training programme to promote inclusivity.
- The workshop resolved that NBTE Nigeria shall host the Secretariat of the Network.
- The Kenyan Delegation has offered to host the next General Assembly and Workshop of SASASNET in 2024.
Done on this 25th Day of July, 2023 in Abuja, The Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Hon. Ousman Sillah
SECRETARY GENERAL, SASASNET