On 28 February – 1 March 2023, the British Council and Nuffic Southern Africa jointly hosted a regional seminar ‘Green skills and retrofitting the economy: the pathways to sustainability’, as part of their global programmes ‘Going Global Partnerships’ and ‘Orange Knowledge’. The event brought together over 60 senior government officials, policy and decision makers, private sector representatives and training providers from over 10 countries (Botswana, Benin, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, the Netherlands and the UK).   

The seminar was held in Cape Town and provided the space and opportunity for thought-provoking presentations, practical site visits, and interactive discussions and experiences. Delegates were encouraged to share best practice, knowledge, insights and initiatives that support the development of green skills and accelerate the green agenda in the region. Africa is the most vulnerable region to the impact of climate change as it is mostly reliant on climate-sensitive agriculture. Identifying that collaboration can be a key driver to achieving the green agenda, partners and delegates were keen to work together to find solutions to address climate change across the continent.    

The seminar provided a platform for the region to showcase individual projects, sparking new and innovative ideas for future projects. Delegates visited Boland TVET college, Stellenbosch University and the Atlantis Special Economic Zone (ASEZ), experiencing, observing and engaging first hand with their innovative green strategies and projects, including a low-tech water solar heating pilot for communities surrounding the SEZ and the EU-funded collaboration to develop and prepare off-grid cooling and water solutions for hospitals and clinics in Africa. The visits demonstrated how employers and communities can work together to improve lives and wellbeing through the application of green technologies and methods to solving societal needs.  

Additionally, the British Council announced the latest commission for a self-assessment tool on Greening TVET that aims to identify and measure how green the TVET system is at policy, industry and implementation levels by engaging all key stakeholders. The tool will support governments in demonstrating and measuring progress in the transition to a greener society and will Inform the enhancement and formulation of appropriate policy initiatives and identifying exemplar areas of practice and success. Find here more tools developed by the British Council to help improve skills systems. 

The two-day programme also featured interesting and thought-provoking discussions about the challenges and opportunities of greening TVET systems taking international, as well as national and local perspectives. The delegates heard from Energy & Utility Skills about their work on assessing future skills requirements in the UK’s energy sector with reference to the process for developing a competence framework in working with Hydrogen and workforce resilience in the move to net zero. They also learned about agriculture programmes delivered by Warwickshire College Group and the different ways that employers engage in agriculture skills development, with a focus on sustainability and green technologies. 

“I would like to express my gratitude to the British Council and Nuffic for organizing such a fruitful seminar on developing green economies. I found the event to be extremely valuable and informative. Thank you for the opportunity to participate." Amine Ahmarras, Training Service Manager at the Moroccan Agency for Energy Efficiency.

The "Green Skills and Retrofitting the Economy" seminar is part of the British Council’s Going Global Partnerships programme.

Going Global Partnerships builds stronger, more inclusive, internationally connected higher education and TVET systems. The programme supports partnerships between universities, colleges, education policy makers, civil society organisations and industry partners in the UK and around the world.