A boost to youth mobility and skills in Africa.

At the Global Gateway High-Level Event on Education in Brussels, European Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen launched new regional programmes boosting youth mobility and skills in Africa.

The Team Europe Initiative on Opportunity-driven Skills and Vocational Education and Training, the Africa-Europe Youth Academy and 15 new projects under the flagship Youth Mobility for Africa highlight the EU’s commitment to empowering African youth with education.

Commissioner Urpilainen said: “The European Union’s Global Gateway investments in education are focused on enhancing access to quality education and skills training for all in an equitable way. Education and skills are key to combating inequalities and to creating jobs and prosperity.”

It is urgent to allow young people to build their green and digital skills, in particular skills that match the opportunities present in the labour market. I am proud to launch today the regional Team Europe Initiative Opportunity-driven Skills and Vocational Education and Training in Africa, co-financed by the European Union with €75 million.”

As a part of the Global Gateway Africa-Europe Investment Package, the regional Youth Mobility for Africa flagship showcases the width and breadth of the European Union’s support to international cooperation in higher education and learning mobility. I am pleased to launch these new initiatives during the African Year of Education, in particular the Africa-Europe Youth Academy – a flagship initiative of the first-ever EU Youth Action Plan.”

Boost to youth mobility

As a key initiative of the Youth Action Plan in EU external relations, the Africa-Europe Youth Academy launched by Commissioner Urpilainen today will provide opportunities for formal and informal learning and exchanges to young people looking to improve their leadership skills and create networks between Africa and Europe. The first set of actions is supported with €15 million from the EU. The initiative is part of the flagship Youth Mobility for Africa.

Commissioner Urpilainen also launched 15 Intra-Africa Mobility Scheme projects, funded with €27 million by the EU. The projects will provide learning mobility opportunities for students, trainees and staff across the continent to boost high-level green and digital skills. The 15 selected projects cover 22 African countries. The Intra-Africa Mobility Scheme is also part of the flagship Youth Mobility for Africa.

Youth Mobility for Africa brings under one umbrella existing and new EU-funded programmes to promote learning mobility opportunities within Africa and between Africa and the EU. It supports cooperation in higher education and skills development and promotes Africa as a study destination, contributing to youth empowerment for sustainable employability and active citizenship.

Switch to opportunity-driven skills training

The regional Team Europe Initiative Opportunity-driven Skills and Vocational Education and Training in Africa launched today aims to enhance the match between skills training and concrete employment opportunities, particularly those created by Global Gateway investments in Sub-Saharan Africa. It supports a paradigm shift in how the training offer is designed – tailoring it to the available opportunities. The identification of employment and training opportunities for women will be compulsory.

Also read: Career Guidance and Opportunities in TVET.

This Team Europe Initiative is co-financed with €75 million from the EU budget for the period 2024-2028. It is accessible to countries in Sub-Saharan Africa that benefit from the Global Gateway EU–Africa Investment Package and have identified VET and skills development as significant areas of cooperation with the EU or EU Member States. It consists of the following three building blocks:

  • A technical assistance facility to identify employment opportunities and the required skills and to provide recommendations for responses by the VET system.
  • Regional exchange on public-private-partnerships to promote opportunity-driven VET and skills development in Sub-Saharan Africa, involving relevant Erasmus+ actions.
  • A competitive funding mechanism to finance regional and multi-country opportunity-driven VET initiatives in support of value chains supported by the Global Gateway, complementing funding at country level.


Education is a powerful mechanism to address inequality and poverty, boosting human potential, opening doors for girls, youth and marginalised groups, and providing a springboard for human connections, debate and democratic values.

The European Union is the leading investor in education worldwide. The EU institutions and Member States provide more than 50% of all official development aid to education worldwide. The EU committed to dedicating at least 10% of its international partnerships budget for the period 2021–2027 to education. In the period 2021–2023, the EU’s commitments have amounted to around €3 billion, approximately 13% of the budget.

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