Inter-Country Quality Node on Technical and Vocational Skills Development (ICQN-TVSD)

What is the ICQN-TVSD?

The general objective of the ICQN/TVSD and indeed of all the quality nodes is to act as a catalyst for innovative policies and practices in education and training. The ICQN/TVSD was launched in 2010 under the leadership of Côte d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Technical Education and Vocational Training, now the State Ministry for Employment, Social Affairs and Vocational Training. The ICQN has held two meetings in Abidjan, in July 2010 and September 2011, and at the time of writing, comprises 24 participating countries – Francophone, Anglophone and Lusophone – from all the sub-regions of Africa. It plans to organize a major regional conference on youth employment in Africa in July 2014.

Objectives of the ICQN-TVSD

The ICQN’s objective is to give public and private sector decision-makers engaged in TVSD reform policies the benefits of pooling experiences, analyses and evaluations in this field at the regional, sub-regional and continental levels, and thus enable them to take a concerted approach to the challenges they all face: facilitating integration into the workforce for the many young people who are excluded from the labor market and significantly raising the skill level of the entire working population to promote growth that generates jobs and value added.

The ICQN’s future is not to be yet another entity among all the inter-country cooperation bodies already in place. Rather, the node is intended as a space of intersection that is open to all such initiatives, supports them, interconnects them and mobilizes them in a coherent way so as to help give Africa, in accordance with the objectives of the 2011 Triennale, the skills it needs to build a geopolitical future commensurate with its wealth of natural, social, cultural and, above all, human resources.

The future of the ICQN lies in facilitating the pooling of different countries’ concepts, methods and mechanisms for implementing TVSD and thereby enhancing efficiency and synergy in African TVSD strategies and policies. It also lies in becoming, during the 2014-2017 period, a venue for sharing and analysis of African TVSD policies and a platform of expertise capable of supporting countries that so request in implementing policies, mechanisms and actions to enable both adults and young people to acquire the skills required by the labor market.

Activities to date

The ICQN/TVSD held two meetings in Abidjan, in July 2010 and October 2011. The first meeting launched the ICQN and defined its objectives. The second identified three priority areas of cooperation:

  • integrating young people into the workforce and training them through apprenticeship, from the lowest level of qualification to that of advanced technicians;
  • development of public-private partnerships to enhance the efficiency and quality of TVSD;
  • establishment of national certification frameworks and mechanisms capable of validating all forms of acquired skills.

Following these two meetings that founded the ICQN, three other meetings have been held: 

  • an Inter-country seminar on getting young people into the workforce (Abidjan, December 3-4, 2012);
  • an Inter-country seminar on national certification frameworks (Abidjan, July 8-9, 2013);
  • a Workshop to prepare for the 2014 Ministerial Conference on Youth Employment. The workshop focused on finalization of country studies on national strategies for integration of young people into the workforce (Abidjan). 

The 2014 Ministerial Conference on Youth Employment is the first major regional event organized by the ICQN/TVSD.

ICQN work perspectives

The participating ministers, representatives, and public and private experts expressed a strong desire to continue their work in the ICQN after the Triennale. They proposed setting up thematic working groups, in which the countries having made the most progress on one of the three proposed themes would support other countries that so desire in the development of policies, practices, methods and tools corresponding to their objectives and need for reform. According to the members of the ICQN/TVSD, such pooling of objectives and resources is the best means of meeting the economic and social challenges to the sustainable development of Africa.

Member countries



Amara Kamaté
ICQN Coordinator
+225 27 20 33 54 77
[email protected]

Aminata Siahoué
ICQN Project Officer
+225 01 01 08 99 95
[email protected]