In no region other than Africa is the trade-off drawn more sharply between the achievement of skills development with technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and providing universal basic education. Both are important to economic growth and poverty reduction, but the fiscal and administrative capacity of the state to meet both goals is limited. The presence of HIV/AIDS and its deskilling of the labour force compounds the problem. Defining the role of the state more strategically in the provision and financing of TVET is essential to achieving ‘education for all’ and the poverty reduction goal of the Millennium Development Goals. Confronting this trade-off is the objective of Skills Development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Written to inform clients, donors, and World Bank staff about TVET experiences over the past decade, Skills Development in Sub-Saharan Africa builds a dialogue around this experience. The study sets out to update knowledge and explore issues and recent developments in TVET and distill lessons as a guide to future skills development in the region. The focus of the analysis is on the economics of skills development. Provision of financing of TVET are examined through the lens of economic efficiency, balanced with attention to social equity.