The Kenya Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in conjunction with China’s AVIC International Holding Corporation have launched the Africa Tech Challenge in Nairobi, in a bid to encourage youth to enroll for technical courses, create employment and provide skilled workers for the government and the private sector.
The project entitled TVEC standing for Technical, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training for the Youth is designed to cultivate the spirit of entrepreneurship among students in Technical Training Institutions in Kenya who plan to enroll in technical careers once they graduate.
The tech challenge comes at a time when the Kenya government through its Vision 2030 aims to transform Kenya into a newly industrializing, middle-income country providing high quality life. While the number of qualified technicians in the Kenya market has dwindled following an aggressive campaign that has seen most middle level institutions upgraded to universities, the AVIC International and the Education ministry have introduced the TVET to supply, install and commission electronic engineering equipment to various Institutions.
Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) is one of Kenya’s Vision 2030 pillars anchored on the foundations of macroeconomic stability, infrastructural development, Land Reforms, Human Resources Development, Security and Public Sector Reforms.
For the Science, Technology and Innovation sector, with high hopes of the AIC contest, Liu Jun Vice Chair of AVIC International, noted that the Institution has currently equipped ten universities for skills in Kenya countrywide.
The TVET colleges and technical universities as well as their trainers are expected to be brought together as well as their trainers to consequently provide an ideal forum for practical application of skills and exchange of ideas in science and technology, noted Belio Kipsang, principal secretary of Kenyan Ministry of Education.
According to Jacob Kimenyi, Cabinet Secretary of Kenyan Ministry of Education Science and Technology said, the contest will meet its objectives of training Kenyans and equipping them with productive skills for their own development and that of meeting the national development goals.
Before the preliminary competition, AVIC International would offer technical training to the participants in July for 15 days. And before the final competition in September, AVIC International would also offer training before the final competition in September.
The top three teams will then receive monetary awards from AVIC after the competition. It will also link the winners with Chinese companies, which will sign a service contracts with them, enabling the winner to produce tools and raw materials required in manufacturing.