AVIC International in partnership with the Ministry of Education today announced the launch of a regional competition targeted at youth in Technical Training Institutions across Africa. Dubbed Dream and Invent Your Future, The Africa Tech Challenge Season 6 will bring together participants from across 8 African Countries for training culminating in the competition that will see the top 6 teams walk away with cash prizes worth over Ksh. 1,000,000. The top two teams will also be awarded manufacturing contracts worth KSh. 10,000,000 (100,000 USD).
Africa Tech Challenge season 6 will focus on enhancing the participant’s skills in CNC Lathe Machining Techniques, in support of the government’s continued efforts to achieve the BIG 4 Agenda and the need to bridge performance skills gaps between graduates and the opportunities available.
Speaking at the launch, AVIC International TVET Director, Mr. Zhao Lei Lei, highlighted the importance of continued skills development among the youth in order to fill the skills gap as the country and continent looks 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. We are proud to be hosting teams from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Zambia, in what we hope will be our most successful venture yet,” said Mr. 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, PS, State Department of Vocational and Technical Education, Ministry of Education, and the Chief Guest at the event expressed his gratitude for the partnership with AVIC not only for TTI 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,” Dr. Desai commented.
He highlighted the project’s expectation to support and offer assistance to students in Technical Training Colleges in order to give them a chance to pioneer the country towards embracing technical skills and creating employment.
He continued to say, “The Ministry is committed to ensuring TVET provides and promotes lifelong education and training for self-reliance, which will enable the graduates contribute effectively towards industrialization. We are paying close attention to TVET with a view of adequately addressing the issues of access and equity, relevance and quality skills training in all our institutions.”
The World Economic Forum reported that 30 percent of the Kenyan workforce has inadequate skills, a situation that is negatively affecting the country, and recommended automation and innovation as a solution. It is AVIC’s belief that 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 county level in order to involve as many youths as possible through this initiative,” Mr. Lei Lei added.
With manufacturing accounting for only 14% of the GDP 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.
Mr. Zhao Lei Lei concluded by urging the private sector to join hands with the public sector to help drive youth empowerment through skills development, and facilitate achievement of the Big Four agenda.