by Alexandria Majallah
AVIC International in partnership with the Ministry of Education announced the launch of the Africa Tech Challenge, Season 5. The challenge aims to empower African youth in technical training institutions with practical skills. 27 teams are participating in this year’s event and the top two teams both receive manufacturing contracts worth KES 10,000,000. (US$=100,000) Three individuals who are voted “most outstanding participant” will each earn scholarships to study in China to gain more knowledge and technical expertise.
China-based AVIC International will train participants in CNC Lathe Machining techniques and Mechatronics Engineering for a period of 45 days at the Technical University of Kenya and Kenya Technical Trainers College respectively. The training is a key element of Kenya’s Big Four Agenda – creating jobs within the country’s manufacturing sector. President Kenyatta wants to raise the share of the manufacturing sector from nine per cent to 15 per cent of the GDP by 2022.
Hosted under the Ministry of Education in Kenya, the Africa Tech Challenge (ATC) works with various educational institutions in Africa to increase and develop professional skills. More than 100 young men and women across the continent will gain specialized expertise.
Jim Yetao, VET Director from AVIC International Holding Corporation in Kenya, says ATC bases its training curriculum on the skills and jobs most African nations need to transform into industrializing economies.
“Our company has successfully held four ATC professional skills contests through a specialised process, where we train on current and future required skills,” Mr. Yetao said. “Our aim is to promote development of professional skills education in Africa, adapt to International standards, and connect with the world’s highest-level of professional skills.
“Training is at the core of the challenge and we kick off with training a total of twenty seven teams, whereby twenty three local teams from technical training institutions in various parts of Kenya,” Yetao added.
Commenting on the partnership, Dr. Kevit Desai, Principal Secretary from the Ministry of Education’s State Department of TVET says that it is the Ministry’s mandate to ensure provision of the right skills and competencies for national development.
Four international teams from technical institutions in Ghana, Zambia, Cote d’Ivoire and Gabon are also taking part in this year’s competition.