Education Cabinet Secretary, Ezekiel Machogu and the AVIC International Project Engineering Company Vice President, Xu Fei, presided over the Africa Tech Challenge award ceremony which incorporated six African Countries, with Kenya being the host.
The closing and awarding ceremony for The Africa Tech Challenge Season 7 was held on Tuesday, November 23 in Nairobi.
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Apart from Kenya, other Countries that presented participants at the ATC season 7 awards ceremony were, Ghana, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Zambia.
Other notable guests included counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, Ms. Zhou Meifen, principal secretary of the ministry of education, Dr. Margaret Mwakima, Exim Bank China’s chief representative for Southern and Eastern Africa, Mr. Wu Qijin, and Prof. Peter Kagwanja, CEO of the Africa Policy Institute (API).
Following his remarks, the Education Cabinet Secretary, Ezekiel Machogu stated that his docket has embraced the ATC program as an avenue to implantation of skills to youths as well as a source of employment.
“The Ministry of Education pioneered this idea so that ATC may be used as a vehicle for raising awareness and enlightening Kenyans about the multiplicity of opportunities that may arise from improving skills development, an initiative that raises the prominence and acceptability of skills,” he said.
The CS also expressed appreciation and advocated collaborating with AVIC to broaden the ATC competition to additional disciplines because the Kenyan economy requires more skilled workers. The CS said “The ATC will allow participants to specify a solution to a problem, build a system, & test it”
On AVIC’s part, Mr. Xu Fei said that up until ATC Season 7, AVIC has trained 960 students from 10 countries and as a result 9 institutions were awarded production orders amounting to 500,000 USD. He reaffirmed that ATC will run for a number of additional seasons.
Moreover, Mr. Xu Fei said “the current need for large-scale investments in technical skills in Africa is undeniable. AVIC is committed to supporting skills development and capacity building through various development and co-operation programs”
Winners of the Africa Tech Challenge Season 7
Diana Busingye of Uganda took first place in the individual category, while the Luyanzi Institute of Technology of Uganda took first place in the group category.
Northern Technical College of Zambia took second place and Meru National Polytechnic of Kenya took third place.
The primary objective of vocational education is to alleviate the unemployment problem.
As a result, in addition to scholarships to study in China, the competition winners will also receive internship and employment opportunities.
The seventh season of ATC began in July 2022. 259 young people in 65 teams from six African nations were trained and certified in the reading and drafting of construction drawings. Twelve vocational training institutions in Kenya participated.
From July 25th to August 22nd, a month of online intensive training was provided to participants from different countries.
The online preliminary round was successfully held on August 25, and one team from each country was selected to enter the final round.
The final phase was launched on November 13 in Kenya, where the finalists gathered for a 5-day training session starting on November 14 and the final round was held on November 19.
All participants who successfully completed the training received a certificate of completion jointly issued by the Kenyan Ministry of Education and AVIC International.
After the final closing ceremony, the ATC Organizing Committee collaborated with the Confucius Institute of the University of Nairobi to hold Chinese cultural experience activities, allowing the participants to experience Chinese specialties including tea ceremony, Guzheng, Opera face painting, calligraphy, etc. to promote cultural exchange between China and Africa.
In addition to the training and competition, ATC also successfully held two ATC TAILKS, which led participants on an online tour of the Global Trade Center project in Nairobi, Kenya, as well as invited established african architects to interact with the participants online, allowing them to understand the application of their learned skills in the field of architecture and broaden their horizon.