Perspectives on global development

Kick-off seminar on Togo's higher education system

 

Higher education and the labour market:

what skills strategy for Togo? 

 

Kick-off seminar

Co-organised by the OECD Development Centre

and the Ministry of Higher Education and Research in Togo 

University of Lomé, 29 and 30 July 2014

 

 

This seminar marked the launch of the OECD Development Centre’s project on Togo's higher education system. During the seminar, entitled "Higher education and the labour market: what skills strategy for Togo?", participants engaged in exercises designed to foster dialogue among stakeholders about the strengths and weaknesses of the Togolese higher education system and the challenges it faces in equipping students with skills aligned with labour market needs.  Among the seminar participants were individuals from government ministries, higher education institutions, the private sector, civil society and development partners. 

 

Université de Lomé - Togo higher education seminar, July 2014

The organisation of the seminar was a success thanks to the support of the University of Lomé and its president Komi Tchakpele. 

Opening remarks 

  • S.E.M. Kwesi Séléagodji Ahoomey-Zunu, Prime Minister, Togo
  • S.E.M. Octave Nicoué Broohm, Minister of Higher Education and Research
  • Ms. Rose Akuitse, Resource Management Advisor, Head of Central Management Unit, OECD Development Centre
  • Mr. David Khoudour, Head of Migration and Skills Unit, OECD Development Centre

 

Session 1: The role of higher education in Togo’s economic development 

The first session allowed participants to reflect on the contribution of higher education to the labour market and its role in Togo’s social and economic development strategy. During the session, the following items were presented and discussed:

  • a strategy paper on how to accelerate growth and promote employment in Togo;
  • the education sector plan;
  • the implementation of the three-cycle Bachelor, Master and Doctor system in higher education;
  • the conclusions of the presidential council on the future of higher education.

Chair: 

  • Mr. Koffi Ahadzi-Nonou, President of the University of Lomé

Presenters:

  • Mr. Koubalékota Kamaga, Technical Secretary, Technical Secretariat of Togo’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper
  • Mr. François Gbikpi-Benissan, Technical Secretary, Permanent Technical Secretariat (STP)
  • Ms. Maryse Quashie, Director of the Centre for Resources, Innovation and Quality, University of Lomé
  • Mr. Komi Paalamwé TCHAKPELE, President of the University of Kara

Session 2: Strengths and weaknesses of the Togolese higher education system 

During the second session, participants engaged in exercises aimed at bringing together different stakeholders to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the higher education system and its capacity to respond to labour market needs. The first exercise encouraged stakeholders to have a dialogue and build consensus around the most significant challenges in higher education that required urgent action. During the second exercise, participants responded to an individual questionnaire and evaluated Togo’s higher education system in light of the three pillars of the OECD Skills Strategy: 1) developing relevant skills; 2) activating skills; and 3) using skills effectively. Finally, during the last exercise, participants were divided into groups and asked to explore the range of obstacles stakeholders faced, as well as the resources available to them, in seeking to connect the higher education system with the needs of the labour market.  

 

groupwork at Togo high education seminar - July 2013

During Session 2, participants discussed the obstacles that university graduates face, as well as the resources available to them, when they look for a job or wish to open their own business. 

Session 3: Major issues in Togo’s higher education system 

During the third and final session, the OECD presented the findings of consultations held during Session I. These were discussed and compared to the conclusions of a preliminary analysis by the OECD that had aimed to identify the major challenges faced by Togo’s higher education system. The interactive nature of this session helped facilitate a two-way learning process:  while the preliminary research of the OECD served to inform stakeholders about the magnitude of certain challenges and the relevance of other factors, the insights provided by stakeholders allowed the OECD to enhance its own analysis of Togo’s higher education system.  

Chair: 

  • Mr. Ibrahim Chitou, Technical Advisor, Ministry of Higher Education and Research

Panellists: 

  • Mr. David Khoudour, Head of Migration and Skills Unit, OECD Development Centre
  • Mr. Adrien Lorenceau, Economist, OECD Development Centre
  • Ms. Cecilie Rude, Policy Analyst, OECD Development Centre

 

seminar panel at Togo higher education seminar, July 2014

Closing remarks were given by S.E.M. Kako Nubukpo, Minister of Forecasting and Policy Assessment; S.E.M. Octave Nicoué Broohm, Minister of Higher Education and Research; and David Khoudour, Head of Migration and Skills Unit at the OECD Development Centre (left to right). 

Concluding remarks

  • Mr. David Khoudour, Head of Migration and Skills Unit, OECD Development Centre
  • S.E.M. Kako Nubukpo, Minister of Forecasting and Policy Assessment
  • S.E.M. Octave Nicoué Broohm, Minister of Higher Education and Research