In the pursuit of the goal, countries of Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia have been given the US$293 ready to commence the implementation of the projects.
Speaking during the meeting which brought on board representatives from the projects sectors, Dr Cosam Joseph from the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA), the coordinator of the projects said every country has highlighted projects as per priorities.
Dr Cosam said Ethiopia has given priority on developing projects in the leather and rail transport sector; Tanzania has given priority to the sectors of energy production, leather production, technology and aviation, while Kenya has given priority to the textile sector, water transport and infrastructures.
He said the project also supports the development of highly specialized technical and vocational education and training programmes as well as industry-recognised short term certificate level training targeting regional priority sectors in transport, energy, manufacturing and ICT.
He said the implementation of the projects is taking place in some selected colleges in each country whereby a total of 16 colleges have launched various programmes. Tanzania has four colleges, Kenya has five and Ethiopia has seven colleges.
“All projects are expected to take five years of implementation, a move which will produce more skilled experts to work and bring changes in various sectors in the region,” he said.
By the end of the five-year project, the 16 institutes will have at least doubled their capacity on enrolment of students on an annual basis in both long-term and short-term training programmes in the targeted disciplines.
He added; “Among others, all these projects are aimed at highlighting the contribution of technical colleges in boosting the economic growth of the EA region while also dispelling the misconception that technical colleges are dumpsites of failed students,”
He said that there was a time when some countries began to be influenced by this concept and began to see vocational colleges as nothing when it comes to transforming economies, which is not true.
Sitholi Mwakatege from Arusha Technical College said they have started offering targeted technical courses so as to produce competent graduates.