Skilled workers for Africa

Unique vocational education and training programme launched in Nigeria

The VDMA (German Engineering Federation) and the Aliko Dangote Foundation have launched a joint programme providing industry-related training for Nigerian skilled workers in Lagos. As from now, 500 skilled workers can be trained each year in the training centre set up by African and German partners.

Under the banner of "Nigerian Industry meets German Engineering", the VDMA, its Young Mechanical Engineers Foundation and the Aliko Dangote Foundation have developed a vocational training and continuing education programme which has now been officially launched with a ceremony in Lagos.

"This programme is the first of its type in Nigeria," explained Aliko Dangote, founder and Chief Executive of Dangote Industries Limited during the event. Together with former VDMA President Dr Reinhold Festge, he developed the vision of a dual Nigerian-German vocational education and training programme.

Ultra-modern training centre in Obajana

African and German partners have invested more than seven million Euro for the implementation of this vision – a large part of this was used for training teaching staff and school management and for setting up the Dangote Academy training centre in Obajana, Nigeria.

The centre sets a new standard for vocational education and training infrastructures in Nigeria with its state-of-the-art technical equipment. Many of the machines were provided by German companies.

Dr Festge is very positive. "Our training centre creates a win-win situation." He explains the winners are the trainees whose qualifications give them better work prospects, but also the Nigerian economy which benefits from skilled workers and the companies which, through the centre, have found a good means of entering the market in Nigeria.

Initial and continuing education courses for industrial skilled workers

The training programme in Obajana currently includes an industrial mechanics training course – this runs for 18 months for the basic course and 30 months for the advanced course — as well as continuing education and training courses in mechanics and electrical engineering. The programme meets all the government requirements for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). As of now, 500 skilled workers per year can be trained in Obajana.

The VDMA has been involved with the initiative "Skilled workers for Africa" for many years to support the training of local personnel – in addition to Nigeria, other project countries are Botswana and Kenya. "Today's opening is further evidence of the enthusiasm and commitment which all partners bring to the initiative," says Dr Norbert Völker, who is leading the initiative for the VDMA.

Patron of the VDMA initiative and wife of the German President Elke Büdenbender sent a video greeting to the guests. "Cooperation in the area of vocational education and training gives us the opportunity to shape the world together," emphasises Büdenbender. Dr Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development also sent his congratulations via video – his ministry supports the projects of the VDMA Africa Initiative with financial funding.

Source: (website of the German association for mechanical and plant engineering), revised by iMOVE, Octobre 2021