COL’s INVEST Africa partners have been expanding their skills training offerings to provide flexible courses targeting people working in the informal sector.

Thika Technical Training Institute, in Kenya, has launched three courses in Biogas Production, Food Preparation and Hospitality. In Ghana, 300 learners at Koforidua Polytechnic have started five courses to improve the livelihoods of roadside mechanics, food vendors, drivers, hairdressers and seamstresses.

Teachers at Mombasa Technical Training Institute have participated in a COL workshop to develop five new courses for the informal sector. The institution has invested in a new multimedia unit that will give access to video recording and editing equipment to produce new learning materials.

The INVEST Africa consultancy team has been busy making institutional visits. Over 120 teachers at Auchi Polytechnic in Nigeria have benefited from eLearning sessions with Professor Alex Romiszowski, and 120 teachers at Mbeya University of Science and Technology in Tanzania have worked with Canadian consultant Mr. David Walker on plans for a girls’ outreach programme and radio for teaching and learning. Dr. Delvaline Möwes, from the Polytechnic of Namibia, has been supporting Zambia’s Institute of Business and its Technical and Vocational Teachers College with workshops on distance learning systems and processes.

Institutional policy to facilitate new flexible and distance learning approaches is an important aim of COL partners. Four institutions are currently refining their open and distance learning policies through a workgroup based on the INVEST Africa Community Learning Network.