SkillSafari and Pathfinder Senegal have entered into a strategic partnership with aims to bring vocational skills available for the informal sector in Senegal and Ivory Coast, based on an identified competency gap. 

The cooperation consists of a joint offering of skills validation and training programmes, aiming at strengthening the employability of people with limited educational backgrounds and informal technical competencies . The innovative approach is based on the use of digital micro certificates as means to recognise and validate existing skills, visualise development pathways and as topics of additional training offering. 

Most people working in the informal sector or looking for work have knowledge and skills, but they are not valued because these people do not have a diploma or certificate. The validation of acquired knowledge with badges, training linked to this knowledge as well as the integration of these young people into the working world, with recognized and valued skills to get better paid, responds to a real problem that exists in Senegal and Ivory Coast”, says Mbarou Mbaye Gassama, executive director of Pathfinder Foundation.

Micro Certification is the new paradigm for vocational skills development, it is bridging the gap between formal and informal education. For us, is also offers a way to offer a simple a scalable solution for people wanting to invest in improving their careers or businesses”, visions Satu Järvinen, CEO of SkillSafari

Under this partnership SkillSafari and Pathfinder plan to offer Open Badges for skills validation with related online and onsite courses and training programmes through a mutual online platform. The key focus is in increasing the offering of quality digital learning solutions in Senegal and in Ivory Coast, with special attention put in creating a technological environment suited for the needs and capacities of the targeted audiences. 

In addition to validation and training, SkillSafari and Pathfinder plan to engage local businesses and create direct employment pathways. Skill gaps perceived by local business needs are targeted and taken into account in the development of all educational offerings.

While Pathfinder Foundation provides much of the online and onsite training, SkillSafari provides the skills framework and validation that stem from long standing expertise in vocational education, ICT integration and skills validation. The new approach to training that focuses on validation of pre-existing skills and building learning and career pathways on top of what people already know is new in Africa. 

This cooperation allows us to offer an accessible and simple solution for the people in Senegal and Ivory Coast to start formalising their skills, learn new ones and start building sustainable careers. With our solution we can make education accessible to people that currently have limited means to learn and improve their careers or businesses.”, says Satu Järvinen, CEO of SkillSafari

Pathfinder Foundation  is a non-governmental organization with the objective of promoting education and development through education and training, as well as the design and implementation of innovative development projects with high added value. Its headquarters are located in Dakar, the organisation also operates in the Ivory Coast and Mali through local offices. In each country, the Foundation has signed headquarters agreements with the respective local governments.

SkillSafari is a Finnish organization that works to develop scalable solutions for employability and successful careers. SkillSafari works to create successful careers through recognition and validation of skills with digital micro credentials. Their trusted solution is based on years of experience working with skills development internationally and strong dedication to create innovations with large positive impact.

For more information please contact:
Mrs Satu Järvinen,
CEO, SkillSafari
Phone: +358 41 459 7871

Mrs Mbarou Mbaye Gassama,
Executive Director, Pathfinder Foundation
Phone: +221 33 865 9612 / +221 77 456 05 61