A group of Kenyans have been awarded certificates after training in the manufacture of Made in Kenya machinery to be sold in China.
The 56 Kenyans were part of a group of youths from four countries who participated in the three week-long Africa Tech Challenge in Nairobi.
They were awarded at the Technical University of Kenya together with four participants each from Uganda, Zambia, and Ghana.
Technical University of Kenya vice chancellor Francis Oduor urged the trainees to use their skills.
“Stop saying agriculture is the main source of livelihood while people are starving. Things will change when we make good use of the machines,” he said at the weekend.
Next month, the trainees will receive awards, including a fully-funded Master’s degree scholarship to Beihang University in China, contracts to produce and export raw materials for Chinese companies and cash.
Su Tianshu, the AVIC International Holding Corporation Chief Representative of Kenya, said that AVIC international in collaboration with the Kenyan government will also create five thousand jobs by 2019, when AVIC headquarters will be put up in Nairobi.
Loy Muhwezi, Ugandan Education ministry’s Commissioner for Business and Technical Vocation Education Training, stressed the need of training for developing countries.
“I not only view the training as a competition, but also as a skill-acquiring platform,” she said.
Loy also stressed on the need for a similar East African training, saying that the region can organise its own.
The Africa Tech Challenge was first held in 2014 as a corporate social responsibility initiative of AVIC International, a civil engineering company with a long history of commitment to Kenya, and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
In 2015, the ATC took place at Shamberere Technical Training Institute in Kakamega.
Winners of both editions of ATC won scholarships to pursue postgraduate studies in engineering at the Beihang University in China, and are due to leave the country next week to embark on their studies.
The students were part of a team that won the first tender to manufacture spare parts for earth movers, which parts made the first consignment ever of manufactured exports to China earlier this year.
This year the theme was “Made in Kenya”.