VIU Joins MasterCard Foundation's Young Africa Works in Kenya Initiative

VIU Joins Mastercard Foundation's Young Africa Works in Kenya Initiative

Beatrice Nyariki, Kisii NP Registrar shaking hands with a VIU carpentry student on a past benchmarking visit to VIU

January 12, 2021 - 11:45am

VIU collaborates with Kenyan partner college to establish new electrical trades training program.

Vancouver Island University (VIU) has joined the Mastercard Foundation’s five-year Young Africa Works in Kenya-TVET initiative, which is focused on increasing the participation of young Kenyans, and women in particular, in workforce-relevant skills training programs that will result in dignified and fulfilling work opportunities. 

A total of 15 Canadian post-secondary institutions are participating in this new initiative created in partnership with Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) and the Mastercard Foundation. Building on VIU’s work under the Global Affairs Canada-funded Kenya Education for Employment Program (KEFEP), the university is collaborating with Durham College and Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning as part of a $360,000 project to strengthen and support technical and vocational education and training at three Kenyan institutions – The Kisumu National Polytechnic, The Sigalagala National Polytechnic and Kisii National Polytechnic. 

Over the next five years, 26 Technical and Vocational Education and Training Centres of Excellence (TVET COEs) will be developed in Kenya with a focus on strengthening skills training programs for key economic growth in Kenya’s Big Four sectors (manufacturing, food security and nutrition, universal health care coverage and affordable housing) as well as the digital sector.  

“The TVET Program is a critical component of Young Africa Works in Kenya as this will increase the participation of young Kenyans, particularly young women, in market-relevant skills training programs. This investment will prepare and equip young people for work opportunities that will grow the economy and transform their lives, families and communities,” says Daniel Hailu, Regional Head of Eastern & Southern Africa & Kenya Country Head, Mastercard Foundation. 

VIU is working with Kisii National Polytechnic to determine which trades training program to roll out through this partnership.  

“We conducted an assessment to determine what skills are in demand, and what equipment and human resources our partners have to deliver new programs,” says Darrell Harvey, VIU’s Manager of Global Engagement. “Our partners decided to focus on training junior electricians to support the strong demand for workers in the construction trades. Enhancing their electrical offerings will also build upon the new program in building technology at Kisii National Polytechnic that we launched together earlier this year.”  

VIU faculty will work with Kenyan colleagues to adopt curriculum and development learning materials for the new program, train the Kenyan instructors and provide additional support during the implementation.  

Harvey says this is an opportunity for VIU to deepen its relationship with Kisii National Polytechnic and engage in new areas of the University’s international cooperation work.  

“With an expansion into new trades areas in Kenya, additional VIU instructors will be able to broaden their global perspective and enhance their intercultural competency skills. There will also be opportunities for other student service areas to become involved in these global engagement activities,” adds Harvey. “It has been inspiring to see the growth in both VIU’s and our partners’ capacity to improve access to education.”

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For more information, please contact:

Vancouver Island University

Annette Lucas, Communications Officer

Annette.Lucas@viu.ca | 250-618-7296 

Mastercard Foundation

Helen White, Strategy Lead, Program Communications

hwhite@mastercardfdn.org | +27 76 166 5372


Tags: Community Engagement | Electrician | International Development | Teaching and Learning