The African Development Bank Group (AFDB) has made a grant of 5 billion CFA Francs, through its African development fund, to a council of understanding comprising member countries Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso and Niger.
The grant is to finance the reform of the regional maintenance training center also known as CERFER, as part of a training integration support project (PAIF) in the road, railway and mining trades in member countries.
On the significance of the fund “This funding will enable CERFER’s reform modules to be completed, including the restructuring of the management of the center; its total refurbishment and the construction of new premises; the acquisition of new equipment and materials; the launch of new training courses in the construction industry.
The funds will also contribute to the introduction of modular training, the introduction of professional licensing streams, the strengthening of teaching staff capacity and the establishment of an appropriate communication policy,” the bank’s statement read.
The expected results of the fund are the training of a significant number of qualified technicians in the building and public works (construction) sectors, roads, railways, and mines, as well as the improvement of the performances of the different actors of these sectors.
Patrice Kouamé, the executive secretary of the Council of the Agreement and co-signatory of the grant agreement, welcomed the “constant commitment” of the Bank to support the subregional organization and to accompany the CERFER in its vision to offer learners theoretical and practical training adapted to the needs of companies, thus facilitating the employability and integration of young people from the center.
“The African Development Bank is the only organization that accompanies us with this huge donation. In doing so, it effectively translates its support for investing in human capital as a powerful driver of development, “ he said.
Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, director general of the Bank for West Africa, stressed the relevance of the PAIF, which she said will inject new momentum into CERFER.
“The project comes rightly, by its capacity, not only to solve the problem of youth employment but also to help meet the challenges of infrastructure development and regional integration, which are just as many major challenges for the continent .”
For Akin-Olugbade, even when jobs are available, young people often do not have the skills required by employers.
To this end, she said “the project will help equip the West African region with skills to meet the needs of the economy in strategic areas of transportation and mining infrastructure. It will promote the creation of a critical mass of technicians and technicians and will garner the direct employment of approximately 8,000 young technicians trained by CERFER over the next ten years. “
Ouro-Djobo Samah, director general of CERFER, also welcomed this donation from the African Development Bank, which will propel the center and transform it into a pole of excellence at the country level of the Council of Europe. the agreement and the subregion.
“We express our gratitude and pride to the African Development Bank. With this gift, we will succeed, “said Samah.
The CERFER is a specialized agency of the Council of the Agreement, based in Lome, Togo, and responsible for the training of technicians in the building trades and public works, road, railway, and mining.
The Council of the Agreement was created on 29 May 1959 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, with the objective of promoting the economic development of its Member States, through the implementation of joint projects and programs likely to increase the well-being of their populations. It also aims to contribute to the strengthening of political relations between the Member States, with a view to maintaining between them and in the West African sub-region a climate of peace, security, solidarity and mutual understanding, necessary for their economic and social development.