COSDEF | Community Skills Development Centres (COSDECs)

The Namibia Community Skills Development Foundation (COSDEF) – Community Skills Development Centres (COSDECs)

The Namibia Community Skills Development Foundation (COSDEF) is the national umbrella body for the Community Skills Development Centres (COSDECs). It is a registered trust, governed by a Board of Trustees. The Support Unit (SU) administers and implements approved programmes. The role of the SU is to maintain quality standards, through the provision of administrative and financial assistance, as well as professional advice and guidance to the COSDECs and other training initiatives funded by the COSDEF.


COSDEF co-ordinates, supports and supervises the various COSDECs that provide competency based skills training to various communities throughout Namibia, primarily for youth and the previously disadvantaged groups to assist them in partaking in economic development activities.

COSDEF is the national umbrella body for the various COSDECs. Honourable, Nahas Angula, is the Chairman of the Board of trustees. The Board’s mandate includes:

  • Providing guidance to the COSDECs in terms of their activities and management;
  • Raising funds, allocating funds to COSDECs, and monitoring COSDECs expenditures;
  • Developing, implementing and enforcing training and skill testing standards; and
  • Receiving and assessing individual requests from other communities for the establishment of new skills training initiatives.


COSDECs are Community Skills Development Centers, governed by an Advisory Board. The Board undergoes a selection process based on nominations from the local community. They are responsible for supervising the Centre’s management and also liaise with the local community. The Advisory Board reports to COSDEF on a regular basis. The day-to-day running of a COSDEC is the responsibility of the Centre Manager.


The vision of the COSDECs is to “provide focused, practical skills training that incorporates business skills, entrepreneurship, and life skills” and to “relate the training programs to opportunities in the local economy in terms of demand for goods and services.”

The main aim is to assist young people find employment in the local economy, either in the formal or informal sector. The training provided at the Centres is competency-based and the courses focus on the basic skills an employer expects of an entry level worker.

The COSDECs have developed processes for conducting market assessments, i.e. identifying relevant skills training opportunities and tracer studies, thereby assessing the effectiveness of existing training programs. COSDECs target and market their courses mainly to unemployed youth and other disadvantaged groups in society.


The SME Support Centre’s main objective is to provide business training courses, mentoring and coaching, and general support services to small business owners and entrepreneurs. In addition, the Centres provide Small Business Incubation Units to local SME operators as part of their business support services.


The COSDEF Arts &Craft Centre was established in 2009 in Swakopmund. The Centre serves as a selling and value-added outlet for arts & craft products produced at COSDECs and from local producers around the country


Although COSDEF is a registered Trust, the organisation still benefits from its close ties with the Ministry of Education since its inception. Currently 85% of each COSDECs funding comes directly from the Foundation. The Foundation’s budget is funded by the Ministry of Education through the Namibia Training Authority (NTA). Special projects are funded by various donor agencies, the private sector and individual sponsorships.

Each COSDEC is expected to generate 15% of their total yearly budget through own initiatives. Although the Centres may lobby for additional donor funds, the Centres are encouraged to set up “Production Units” linked to their training programs to generate own funds.

Main Funders


Development Partners:

MCA ( Millennium Challenge Account)
ICEIDA ( Icelandic Development Agency)
ACCC( Association of Canadian Community Colleges)
AMERICAN EMBASSY – Self Help Programme
EED ( Evangelical German Development Agency)
VSO ( Voluntary Services Overseas )
ORT NAMIBIA ( Organisation for Resources and Training )

For more information, please contact the Support Unit:

Mandume Ya Ndemufayo 45 Swakopmund, P.O. Box 4230, Vineta, Swakopmund

Tel: +264 64 400 358  Fax: +264 64 403 845  Email:


Skills Area Ondangwa Tsumeb Otjiwarongo Mahetago, Swakopmund Tukurenu, Rundu Opuwo Tsumeb SME Support Centre Arts & Crafts Benguela, Luderitz Omaheke, Gobabis
1 Baking
2 Basic Computer literacy
3 Beadwork – Advanced
4 Beadwork – Beginners
5 Bookkeeping
6 Bricklaying & Plastering
7 Building Maintenance
8 Entrepreneurship
9 Carpentry
11 Coffin Making
12 Crochet
13 Early Childhood Development
14 Food Preparation
15 Food Preparation & Serving
16 Glass Recycling
17 Hairdressing
18 Internet and email
19 Jam Making
20 Knitting
21 Leather Craft
22 Leather Tanning
23 Needlework Basic Skills
25 Office Administration
26 Plumbing &  Pipefitting
27 Sheet Metal work
28 Water Point Maintenance
29 Welding & Fabrication
30 Wirecraft and beadwork

National Courses

Welding and Metal Fabrication Course

Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Course

Office Administration Course

Joinery and Cabinet Making Course

Information Communication Technology Course

Hospitality Operations Course
Hairdressing Course
Clothing and Textiles Production Course
Bricklaying and Plastering Course

Centres Contact Info

Lüderitz Tel: 063 202 422
Gobabis Tel: 062 564 939
Ondangwa Tel: 065 241 220
Opuwo Tel: 065 273 322
Otjiwarongo Tel: 067 304 562
Rundu Tel: 066 256 889
Swakopmund Tel: 064 403 046
Tsumeb Tel: 067 222 557
Arts & Crafts Centre Tel: 064 406 122

General Contact Address

Phone : +264 64 400 358
Fax : +264 64 403 845
Email :
Address : Mandume Ndemufayo Street, Swakopmund, Namibia