Technical and vocational colleges in East Africa record fourfold increase in student enrolment

Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges in East Africa supported by the World Bank-funded East African Skills for Transformation Project (EASTRIP) have recorded more than fourfold increase in student enrolment, according to the mid-term evaluation report of the project.

The report undertaken to review the project performance at its mid-term, revealed that the total student enrolment in 16 Regional Flagship TVET Institutes (RFTIs) increased from 6,971 students at baseline to 30,776 students at mid-term, higher than the overall project target to enrol 20,000 students annually in both long-term and short-term training programmes.

EASTRIP is a five-year project funded by the World Bank and the Governments of Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania to increase access and improve quality of TVET programs offered by the selected Regional Flagship TVET Institutes and support regional integration.

The project seeks to increase enrolment of female students in technology and engineering fields which has been low. The total number of female students enrolled in selected TVET courses has also increased from 741 students at baseline to 5,230 students. Graduates employed within six months upon graduation has also increased from 47 per cent to 69 per cent.

Speaking at the opening session of the Technical Advisory Meeting to reviews results of the mid-term review, the IUCEA Executive Secretary, Prof. Gaspard Banyankimbona, said “we are advocating for our member universities to move from academic-based learning that has characterised university education for decades to 21st century competency-based learning that puts emphasis on skills development for the world of work.  We believe TVET institutions have a key role to play in giving us the necessary learning experiences in training graduates with required skills to meet the demands of the fast-changing employment landscape.”

Prof. Banyankimbona added that: “We have developed a new strategic plan (2021 to 2026) and put emphasis on supporting TVET systems in the implementation of the EAC Common Higher Education Area. This means that harmonisation of TVET qualifications, regional mobility of students and staff in TVET institutions will become key goals of not just the EASTRIP Project Implementation Team but also the whole of IUCEA including its governance structures.”

Participants at during the Mid-term review of the EASTRIP Project
Participants at during the Mid-term review of the EASTRIP Project

The World Bank Lead Education Specialist, Dr. Xiaoyan Liang, said: “Over the last 3 years, significant progress has been made in expanding enrolment and developing demand-driven programmes in most TVET institutes. The underlying principles of industry linkage and institutional autonomy are two important pillars that EASTRIP uses to improve the relevance and quality of TVET and these are being well recognized” . 

The TVET Director, Ministry of Education in Kenya, Mr Tom Mulati, who represented the Principal Secretary, State Department of Vocational and Technical Training (VTT), said: “The development of harmonized regional TVET Qualifications Framework & Occupational standards is a subject we have engaged in and shall continue to engage in the future. Harmonized qualifications Framework is the direction that the world is taking. As a region we cannot afford to be left out.” The EASTRIP Projects supports 16 technical and vocational institutes from Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania to become regional flagship institutes in key growth sectors of the economy including manufacturing, transport and infrastructure, energy, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

EASTRIP Regional Flagship TVET Institutes

SectorFocusRegional Flagship TVET InstituteCountry
Transport /
RailwayDire Dawa Polytechnic CollegeEthiopia
RailwayEthiopia Railway AcademyEthiopia
MarineKenya Coast National PolytechnicKenya
AirNational Institute of Transport Tanzania
RoadKombolcha TVET Polytechnic CollegeEthiopia
Building InfrastructureMeru National Polytechnic Kenya
Highway InfrastructureKenya Institute of Highway and Building TechnologyKenya
Power / EnergyPower/energyGeneral Wingate Polytechnic CollegeEthiopia
GeothermalKenGen Geothermal Training CentreKenya
HydroArusha Technical CollegeTanzania
ManufacturingTool making / leatherFederal TVET InstituteEthiopia
Textile / garmentHawassa TVET Polytechnic CollegeEthiopia
TextileKisumu National PolytechnicKenya
LeatherDar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) Mwanza CampusTanzania
Agro-processingHoleta TVET Polytechnic College EthiopiaEthiopia
ICTICTDar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) Dar es Salaam CampusTanzania

Key facts about the EASTRIP project

  • The Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) is a strategic institution of the East African Community (EAC) responsible for the development and coordination of higher education and research in the region.
  • IUCEA is the Regional Facilitation Unit for the World Bank-funded East Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project (EASTRIP).
  • EASTRIP is funded by the governments of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania and the World Bank to increase access and improve the quality of TVET programs in 16 regional flagship TVET Centres of Excellence and to support regional integration.
  • The project supports the development of highly specialized TVET programs at diploma and degree levels for training of technicians and TVET faculty, as well as industry recognized short-term training, targeting regional priority sectors in transport, energy, manufacturing, and ICT.

For further information about the EASTRIP project, please contact:

Godwin Bonge Muhwezi, Project Communication Officer, Inter University Council for East Africa, Kampala, Uganda. E-mail:

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