The AVIC International company in partnership with the Ministry of Education has today announced the launch of a regional competition targeting youth in Technical Training Institutions across Africa.
Dubbed Dream and Invent Your Future, The Africa Tech Challenge (ATC) Season 6 will bring together participants from across 8 African Countries namely; Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Zambia.
Participants will have a training culminating in the competition that will see the top 6 teams walk away with cash prizes worth over Sh1 million and the top two teams will also be awarded manufacturing contracts worth Sh10 million.
The sixth season of Africa Tech Challenge will focus on enhancing the participant’s skills in CNC Lathe Machining Techniques, in support of the government’s continued efforts to achieve both the Vision 2030 and Big Four Agenda and the need to bridge performance skills gaps between graduates and the opportunities available.
Speaking at the launch, AVIC International TVET Director, Zhao Lei Lei, highlighted the importance of continued skills development among the youth to fill the skills gap as the country and continent look to industrialize and effect the necessary socio-economic transformation.
“ATC has been a journey in which we sought to transfer knowledge to our youth, thus enabling them to be self-sufficient. This mantra has facilitated ATC having 5 successful seasons to date. We have nurtured young talent and look forward to doing more as we expand the scope of the challenge,” said Lei Lei.
Hosted under the Ministry of Education in Kenya, Africa Tech Challenge (ATC) has continued to work with various educational institutions in Africa to increase and develop professional skills.
Dr Kevit Desai, Principal Secretary of State Department of Vocational and Technical Education under the Ministry of Education expressed his gratitude for the partnership with AVIC not only for Technical Training Institute’s transformation in the country but also its contribution in ensuring that the TTIs have a deliberate capacity toward inclusiveness in the 4th industrial revolution.
“This contest has been designed by AVIC International caring for Africa (Kenya) in collaboration with the Ministry, and will go a long way in mentoring young graduates from TVET colleges to become role models for others to emulate while creating employment opportunities for the youth in the world markets of manufacturing,” comments Dr. Desai.
He highlighted the project’s expectation to support and offer assistance to students in Technical Training Colleges to give them a chance to pioneer the country towards embracing technical skills and creating employment.
Dr Desai added that “The Ministry is committed to ensuring TVET provides and promotes lifelong education and training for self-reliance, which will enable the graduates to contribute effectively towards industrialization.”
According to the World Economic Forum report of 2016, 30 per cent of the Kenyan workforce has inadequate skills, a situation that is negatively affecting the country, and recommended automation and innovation as a solution.
AVIC believes skills development will also go a long way in achieving the nation’s Vision 2030 development blueprint and truly transform this nation into an industrialized country.
“Since its inception, we have been able to train approximately 700 young Kenyans from all over the nation and we have cooperated with most TTIs at the county level to involve as many youths as possible through this initiative,” Lei Lei added.
With manufacturing accounting for only 14% of the Gross Domestic Product and the government’s focus on manufacturing as one of the key pillars of the Big Four Agenda, the importance of skills development integrated with industry occupational standards for improved productivity levels cannot be understated.
This year’s competition will take place at the Technical University of Kenya and will run for one month.
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