BEAR – transforming skills in sub-Saharan Africa
Many countries in sub-Saharan Africa are struggling to meet the challenge of providing their young people with the skills they need to find decent work. Youth unemployment remains high, and young people are not developing the entrepreneurial skills to create employment in growing sectors.
UNESCO’s BEAR project (Better Education for Africa’s Rise) aims to respond to these challenges. Created in 2011, it is working to update curricula, better train teachers, boost infrastructure and engage employers and enterprises in helping technical and vocational education and training (TVET) to focus on specific sectors carefully chosen for their potential for creating jobs. It aims in particular to increase young people’s access to quality TVET. The ultimate aim of the project is to help promote better TVET systems and to give young people a better chance of finding decent work.
The BEAR project is a unique model for South-South cooperation. Supported by the Government of Korea, it represents a new type of development co-oper¬ation, whereby a newly developed country – the Republic of Korea - shares its expertise in education with others that are looking for ways to develop. BEAR is a five-year project that targets the TVET sector in Botswana, DR Congo, Malawi, Namibia, and Zambia.
BEAR is aligning with country and regional needs to build evidence-based TVET policies. During its first phase, it has identified for each country the main actors, potential public and private partnerships and the sector in which there was the greatest potential to build new skills. In Botswana it is concentrating on the tourism industry, in DR Congo construction and agriculture, in Malawi, agro-processing and construction, in Namibia, construction, and in Zambia, construction and Tourism.