NAIROBI. – The young and expanding working-age population in Africa has been identified as the force that will drive the continent’s technological growth if properly harnessed. During an event held in Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday to award students in technology, speakers said that to remain competitive in the job market, it is vital that young Africans acquire new technological skills, as they are the most valuable asset. of the continent.
They spoke at the award ceremony for the seventh Africa Tech Challenge competition, sponsored by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China Limited in association with the Chinese embassy in Nairobi.
Addressing attendees during the award ceremony in the Kenyan capital, Zhou Meifen, cultural adviser at the Chinese embassy in Nairobi, said the competition is important because it is a way to reduce unemployment through skills transfer. .
He praised the program for expanding since its launch in 2014 to 248 institutions with an outreach in 10 African countries. Zhou also pledged the support of the Chinese government to increase the number of scholarships awarded to students in the program to study in China.
The seventh season of the tech challenge saw 259 contestants from Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Egypt, Zambia and Zimbabwe, with the top six teams taking home numerous prizes. Under the title of ‘Innovation without limits’, this year’s competition focused on the rapidly developing construction industry, in particular the design component. 65 teams from 45 schools participated in the competition.
Speaking at the award ceremony, Xu Fei, AVIC Vice President for East and Central Africa, said that the competition had returned after a hiatus in the 2020/2021 season due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This season’s training was conducted online using an AVIC online learning platform. Upon successful completion of the online training, participants will have interview opportunities for internships or jobs. This is in addition to scholarships to continue studies at top institutions in China,” Xu said.
He added that for the past six years, AVIC has devoted resources to providing essential skills to young Africans for the modern job market through training and equipping technological institutions with the latest machines.
Ezekiel Machogu, Kenyan Minister of Education, expressed his pride in his ministry’s association with the Africa Tech Challenge program and encouraged more Chinese companies to invest in upskilling young Africans as a way to stimulate employment and Business spirit.
“The Africa Tech Challenge has been instrumental in equipping our technical and vocational education and training institutions that have started manufacturing spare parts for machines, some of which have been exported to China,” Machogu said.
“We welcome more participants from the private sector, including Chinese investors, to participate in programs like the Africa Tech Challenge, which not only create jobs, but transfer the skills necessary for our young people to be entrepreneurs by opening businesses through the skills they acquire.
The overall prize in this year’s competition went to Uganda’s Luyanzi Institute of Technology. – ChinaDaily.com