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Support for training and professional integration in the wood, maintenance and ecotourism sectors


Congo’s economy still heavily relies on its oil, contributing to 2/3 of the country’s annual GDP. However, the government of the Republic of the Congo is working towards a diversification of the economy in order to reduce its dependency on the oil industry and to support more sustainable sectors. Among these, the forestry sector is a priority: Congo’s territory is covered for over 60% by the tropical forest of the Basin of Congo. Developing the forestry sector, especially through increased and improved wood processing to be largely exported, is thus crucial. Alongside this sector, Congo also wishes to promote its rich biodiversity and landscapes through the development of ecotourism in the country. For both sectors, specific skills and capacities are required to take up the challenge of sectoral development and private sector growth, but companies struggle to source the needed skills locally. In addition, the cross-sectoral sector of industrial maintenance also faces important challenges in recruiting the skilled workforce locally and often resorts to recruitments from abroad.

VET Toolbox is supporting the efforts to diversify Congo’s economy and support strategic sectors in their development through targeted actions to address the skills gap and equip the local workforce with the needed skills demanded by the private sector. Through its action, VET Toolbox seeks to support the private sector development through targeting and responding to its training needs. On the medium term, skills development of the local force is hoped to encourage increased investments of European and regional companies in the targeted sectors in the Congo.


To contribute to the development of human capital in the Congo and to enable access to employment through skills development in three targeted sectors:

Support training and employment of local workforce in the forestry sector:

  • Investment opportunity: support major entreprises of the sector to recruit workforce locally and increase business development opportunities.
  • Modalities: 100% on-the-job training within companies of the sector. In addition, the project will work with internationally certified companies (sustainable management) and support other companies to get certified.
  • Specific Objectives: 50 people trained on the job on specific sector-related skills, and employed by the companies after having completed the training. 10 trainers trained on sector-related skills.

Skills development and professional integration in industrial maintenance:

  • Investment opportunity: Addressing the cross-sectoral need for service engineers and maintenance technicians.
  • Modalities: theoretical and practical training for skills development and upskilling.
  • Specific objectives: 250 people trained, among which 188 are employed or secured a job after the training. 3 training centres (CEFA) supported.

Development of the ecotourism sector and pilot training for Congolese youth:

  • Investment opportunity: support the development of the ecotourism sector in the Congo.
  • Modalities: Labour Market analysis and analysis of the needs of the private sector. Based on the results of the study, launch a pilot training.
  • Specific objectives: Train 100 youth (incl. 50% women), of which 70 are employed after the training.

Qualitative outcomes of the action

  • Develop a mechanism to deliver professional qualifications in the forestry, maintenance and ecotourism sectors, in partnership with enterprises and the Directorate General of TVET and Employment of the Ministry in charge on TVET and Employment.
  • Establish a certification mechanism of trainings developed in the forestry and maintenance sectors, in partnership with the Chambers of Commerce of Pointe-Noire and Brazzaville and the employers’ federation of the Congo, Unicongo.
  • Pilot a mechanism to enable enterprises to access public financing for the employment of job seekers and employees through the existing TVET fund (FONEA).

VET Toolbox in the Republic of Congo - Interview with Fiona Hübers, Expertise France