Between February 28 and March 4, 2019, I visited Uganda.SKY project has conducted skills assessments of garment sector workers in three African countries – Ethiopia, Ghana, and South Africa – in recent years. During this period, we have received inquiries from representatives of other African countries who expressed interest in having our assessment conducted for their workers in garment and/or other industries. Up to now, we have focused on three countries so that our assessment module will be validated and ready for wider application. As the first phase of the project is approaching completion, in 2019, while giving policy advice and academic presentations based on the data from Ethiopia, Ghana, and South Africa, we will start to consider the application of the SKY assessment module to other countries and other industries. To begin, we decided to visit countries and institutions with whom we had some exchanges but have not yet proceeded to discuss actual collaboration.
In Uganda, I visited Nakawa Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) which has been supported by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for many years and is known as the top TVET institution in Uganda. While I had a dialogue with the staff members of NVTI, thanks to the arrangement of Ms. Saeri Muto, the JICA Chief Advisor, the TVET-LEAD project, and an NVTI instructor who is currently pursuing her master’s degree at Nagoya University, I was able to visit several TVET institutions, the Uganda Manufacturers’ Association (UMA), the Uganda Small Scale Industry Association (USSIA), and overseas subsidiaries of Japanese cooperations including Toyota Uganda Ltd. Being also able to visit local private sector enterprises from large scale exporters to SMEs, I could update our understanding of the rapidly changing economic and labor market environment in Uganda and neighboring countries such as Rwanda. Through this trip, I gained much inspiration for the next steps of SKY project.