About SDF

Click here to Apply

The Skills Development Fund (SDF) is established by the Government of Tanzania through National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS) 2016-2027 to ensure development of a skilled workforce in key economic sectors in the Country. The overall goal of the SDF is to minimize skills gaps by rapidly increasing the supply of graduates with skills relevant to the labor market. To achieve this objective, the SDF will aim to expand the number of individuals with the relevant skills in key occupations and sectors as stipulated in NSDS. The NSDS pioneers the creation of skilled and competitive Tanzanian Workforce capable of effectively fostering inclusive and sustainable socio-economic growth by developing and sustaining transformation of the Tanzanian Workforce to achieve a composition that guarantees timely attainment of middle-income status by 2025.

NSDS supports the National Development Vision (TDV) 2025-35 and the second National Strategy for Growth and Poverty Reduction Five Year Development Plan (FYDP II) 2016-2021. The NSDS also draws upon the 2014 Education and Training Policy (ETP), the 2008 National Employment Policy (NEP), and recommendations from the 2013 BRN Business Environment Lab stream on skills set, as well as several other sector policies. The NSDS introduces a new approach to skills development in Tanzania. Its underlying principles are demand responsiveness, dynamism, results orientation, focus, inclusiveness, and cross-sector coverage. The strategy thus covers the entire chain of skills for employability, from informal and alternative approaches to formal skills development; including apprenticeships; entrepreneurship;

pre-employment vocational and technical education and training; university education; and postemployment upgrading of skills in the form of lifelong learning. It serves to complement, operationalize and bring together for the first time in one strategy different key skills development initiatives. The NSDS focuses on six initial, key economic sectors due to their economic growth and/or job creation potential or their critical supporting role for other high growth sectors. The initial key economic sectors are: i. Agriculture, Agribusiness and Agro-Processing, ii. Tourism and Hospitality, iii. Transport and Logistics, iv. Construction, v. Information and Communications Technology, and vi. Energy.

Within this targeted economic sector a range of skills are covered such as entrepreneurship training, apprenticeships for low skilled youth, internships for graduates and other firm-based training (pre-employment and in-service programs, transition to labor market/Active Labor Market Programs (ALMPs), vocational and technical education and training; and university-level programs, especially those focused on Applied Sciences, Engineering, and Technology (ASET) disciplines targeting more specialized, technical, professional and scientific occupations. Among the key results areas of NSDS is the service delivery level aiming at promoting the expansion and quality of Labor Market Driven Skills Development Opportunities in Selected Economic Sectors. The results area focuses on making service delivery more transparent, efficient, and equitable; and creating a more sustainable resource base for skills development. The program interventions include two funding mechanisms (Skills Development Fund (SDF) for public and private training providers and Trainee Voucher Scheme (TVS) for low income youth) designed to increase competition among training providers for public funds, to increase accountability for results and to provide incentives for training providers to take into account gender aspects of their programming, especially women and girls


The SDF will consist of four financing windows, based on the following training levels: (a) university level; (b) technical education and training; (c) vocational education and training; and (d) alternative training (informal). Through these windows, the SDF will support all levels of skills in the key economic sectors, strengthen links with the private sector, stimulate demand for training, encourage cost-sharing among firms and providers, and incentivize results at the provider level.

 University Education 

Funds for public and private universities to strengthen training for prospective high and medium skilled workers to boost productivity and drive innovation. This will include strengthening of programs at accredited universities that include bachelor degree programs from three to five years in length, but will exclude masters and doctoral programs.

Technical education and training

 Funds for public and private technical education and training institutes will be used to strengthen training for current and prospective medium skilled workers to boost productivity and drive innovation. It will support the strengthening of programs at accredited technical education and training institutes that include certificate, diploma, and higher diploma programs from two to three years in length, and will exclude traditional universities. SDF is expected to prioritize funds for technical education and training.

 Vocational education and training

 Funds for public and private vocational education and training centers will support training for current and prospective and low skill workers through basic foundational and pre-employment certificate programs lasting from several months up to two years. Only accredited Level A and B providers will be eligible to participate for this funding. SDF is expected to prioritize funds for vocational education and training.

Employer based training

 Funds for private employer based training will support skills upgrading pre- and post- employment training programs including (a) apprenticeships, internships and other work based placements; (b) short-term training (several days to several months) including entrepreneurship training, technical training, life skills and non-cognitive skills training. Funds for training in this window are limited in scope and designed to either create or upgrade skills needed for current or upcoming employment and self-employment (including starting or expanding small business). Given the diverse nature of employer based training programs, eligible training providers under this window need to be registered NGOs, companies, industry associations, etc. Providers should not be formally accredited under TCU, NACTE, or  VETA as they will be expected to apply in those respective windows.

Funds will also be used to in each window to strengthen the institutional development of education service delivery providers. Providers will improve their relevance and quality by:

  • Expanding the capacity of existing education and training programs;
  • Establishing new education and training programs;
  •  Incentivizing linkages with the private sector for improving program relevance and education and training delivery;  Improving the quality and relevance of programs through curriculum revision; and
  •  Improving instructor professional development, among other potential measures. In addition, while not an explicit requirement, SDF is intended to:
  • Build system capacity;  Are scalable and replicable across sectors;
  •  Pilot innovative approaches;
  •  Strengthen mechanisms that facilitate cooperation between education and training service delivery providers and employers; and  Prioritize gender needs.


The time-span from the call for Proposals to project implementation and assessment is estimated to take 18 weeks, from the date of this advertisement.

The call for proposals includes the following milestones:

  •  Call for Proposals
  • Submission of concept notes by interested educational providers
  •  Proposal Preparation Workshops;
  •  Proposal Development;
  •  Proposal Evaluation and Selection; and
  •  Announcement of Awards.


This call is particular for the Agriculture, Agribusiness and Agro-Processing economic sector in Tanzania. It aims at capacity building for Tanzanians involved in agriculture, agribusiness and agro processing economic sector in order enhance their skills and foster their productivity, efficiency and economic growth. The call also aims at strengthening skills for agriculture, agribusiness and agribusiness potential to enable the expansion of value chain, increase employment and expansion of links to the market.


Only accredited higher education, technical education, vocational education, and registered employer-based training organizations in Tanzania are eligible to participate in the SDF competitive grant process. Each institution should apply via its respective funding window as follows:

Window 1: University Education-

All Public and Private Universities accredited by Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU), and operating in Tanzania.

Window 2: Technical education and training

All Public and Private Colleges and technical education training institutions accredited by National Council of Technical Education (NACTE)

Window 3: Vocational education and training

 All Public and Private education and training institutions registered by VETA.

Window 4: Employer based training

 All training institutions which are not formally registered by TCU, NACTE, or VETA which provides skills upgrading for pre- and postemployment training programs and registered by approved authorities.


SDF will provide no more than 25 percent of total budget for civil works (infrastructure) and provide no more than 15 percent of total budget for operating expenses. These requirements will ensure greater resources for creating and strengthening programs; improving curriculum; strengthening pedagogy; and creating and maintaining better linkages to the private sector.


Each institution should apply through the following procedure:-

i. Download and fill the concept note form; make sure that all the boxes in the form are filled, and that the information therein is correct. (Forms can be downloaded at (www.tea.or.tz)

ii. Collect the required supporting documentation, as indicated in the form and in the checklist, and attach them to the application.

iii. Send the completed Concept note to Director General, Tanzania Education Authority, P.O BOX 34578, Dar-es-salaam.

The Deadline for submitting application is Friday 15 December 2017, 15:00 Hours For further information, please contact: sdf@tea.or.tz

Click here to Apply