The East African Business Council (EABC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science & Technology (NM-AIST) to bridge the skills gap and mismatch and to upscale the digital transformation of the EAC bloc.
Current statistics show that 65% of African CEOs note that skills shortage prevent organizations from innovating effectively, (according to PwC’s 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey). According to East African Qualifications Framework for Higher Education (EAQFHE), Survey of 2014, skills gap affects 77% of productivity, 42% efficiency and 8% competitiveness of businesses in East Africa.
(TOP: EABC CEO John Bosco Kalisa – left – after the signing of MoU with Prof Emmanuel Luoga, the VC of NM-AIST).
“EABC will offer practical industrial placement for the academic in order to reduce skill mismatch and boost innovation towards a digital economy,” said John Bosco Kalisa, the EABC CEO during the signing ceremony.
He said digital and technologies underpin cross-border business resilience and recovery amid COVID-19. He stated that the technological changes are happening fast in the global economy and SMEs and industries have adopted digital tools such as e-commerce to access the EAC market and reinforce supply chains due to the disruption of COVID-19.
“With the commencement of trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) the academic re-imagine and create new technological innovations to support industries to aggregate and consolidate EAC exports and integrate SMEs into the regional value chains boosting our competitiveness,” said Kalisa.
The agreement outlines to improve collaboration on evidence research-based advocacy on agribusiness, health and industrial development and rolling out of professional, scientific & technical symposiums across the EAC bloc to commercialize innovations and research.
In his remarks, Prof. Emmanuel Luoga, the VC of NM-AIST said: “This partnership is built on shared values to solve societal problems, promote innovation and aspirations of Africa growth – Agenda 2063.” The VC said the partnership reinforces theoretical approaches with practical tactics responding better to industry needs in the EAC regional integration agenda. Prof. Luoga applauded the Arusha Regional Commissioner and EAC Secretary-General for successfully organizing the EAC Tourism Expo.
The Chief Guest John Mongella, Regional Commissioner of Arusha represented by Eng. Richard Ruyango, District Commissioner of Arumeru said: “The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania is committed to support the aspirations and implementation of the MoU between EABC and NM-AIS, as the East African people are the real beneficiaries of this remarkable partnership.”
The signing ceremony was graced by Dr. Peter Mathuki, Secretary-General of the East African Community represented by Alhaj Richard Kibowa, EAC Director of Trade, who urged for the more academia-private partnership for the social-economic transformation of the EAC bloc.
The signing ceremony was also witnessed by Mrs. Amelie Ninganza, EABC Board Director.