Food Security in Africa and the Need to Reposition Technical and Vocational Education and Training

Topics: Higher education, Vocational education, Poverty Pages: 12 (3800 words) Published: June 23, 2013

This paper discusses issues of food insecurity in Africa and the need to reposition Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for curbing food insecurity and promoting development in Africa. The paper highlights the concept of TVET and its objectives; challenges and opportunities of repositioning TVET. The paper also identifies causes of insecurity and implications to development in Nigeria; roles of TVET in curbing insecurity and promoting development. The paper emphasizes strategies for repositioning TVET in promoting development. The paper concludes that for a nation to develop and overcome the challenges posed by food insecurity, priority should be given to reposition technical and vocational education and training. Finally, appropriate measures for effective repositioning were recommended.

Key words: Food security, Technical and vocational education and training; skills development and poverty eradication.

Food security is a fundamental health and development issue in Africa. Food plays an important social and cultural role in all African societies. Diverse factors operating at multiple levels challenge the capacity of African countries to ensure food security. At the macro level, globalization, population growth, urbanization and climate change affect availability and access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food. Additionally, national and regional policies on land use, agriculture, and the environment, energy, trade and health, and transport and communications systems have an impact on food prices, local food production, imported food, nutrition standards and food advertising, labeling and marketing. At the micro level, social determinants such as household income influence access to food; education and the media environment influence food awareness and the perceived acceptability and/or attractiveness of particular food choices. Together, these factors interact to determine what food is obtained and consumed, ultimately affecting health and development outcomes.

Education, skills development and technical training are central to agricultural and rural employment. They prepare mostly young people for work in the formal and informal sector thus plays an important role in poverty reduction. The better the training and the more refined the skills are in terms of human capital, the higher the income and returns and the better the livelihoods. In a globalized world, the role of education for every citizen and national development is indispensable. Education is a fundamental human right of human’s worldwide. Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) represents an important feature of education and training provision. Armstrong (2003) defines training as the formal and systematic modification of behavior through learning, which occurs because of education, instruction, development, and planned experience.

Vocational and technical education gives individuals the skills to live, learn and work as a productive citizen in a global society. The belief that skill acquisition through TVET will lead to creation of jobs especially in the informal sector through self-employment instead of job-seeking is also over-ambitious. This is because self-employment is faced with sharp competition and sluggish economic growth. TVET is concerned with the acquisition of knowledge and skills for the world of work. TVET serves here as an overarching term to describe all kinds of formal, non-formal and informal training and learning provided by or in all different institutions, providers and learning locations.

This purpose of this paper is to explore the importance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) on the development and economic empowerment of individuals in the society to reduce poverty and ensure food security through different aspects of...

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