By Christine Lagat NAIROBI, (Xinhua)
-- The Kenyan government on Monday
launched a China-funded program to boost training and
mentorship for youth keen to work in the country’s blossoming
witnessed the launch of season four of the African Technology
Challenge (ATC), funded by Chinese firm AVIC International.
The program’s goal is to refine the technical expertise of
young people and enhance their employability in building and
“We are proud to
witness this year’s Africa Technology Challenge focus on civil
engineering disciplines like masonry, carpentry and steel
works. The challenge will empower youth from different
backgrounds,” said Dinah Mwinzi, principal secretary in the
State Department of Technical and Vocational Training under
the Ministry of Education.
The fourth edition
of ATC program, dubbed “Jenga Vijana,” or empower the youth,
combines skills upgrade and employment opportunities for
Kenyan youth in the construction sector.
Mwinzi said that a
public-private partnership is key to helping bridge skills gap
in the construction sector that has thrived against a backdrop
of massive capital injection from local and foreign investors.
“We need skilled
personnel to work in critical sectors like housing. The youth
who are trained in masonry or carpentry can also apply their
skills outside the country,” Mwinzi said.
She added that
highly trained youth will help the government tackle an annual
shortfall of 200,000 housing units in the country.
project manager with AVIC International Kenya, said improving
civil engineering expertise among Kenyan youth is key to
promoting economic growth and industrialization in the
Africa Technology Challenge will see the participants advance
their civil construction skills while earning an income
throughout the competition period,” Zhao said.
More than 100
Kenyan youth will benefit from advanced training in civil
engineering disciplines like carpentry, steel works and brick
laying, to be provided by AVIC International.
from AVIC International Kenya, said the youth enrolled in the
one-month training program will acquire skills as they work at
a construction site in Nairobi where the company is setting up
“We decided to
train the youth on construction-based skills. This year’s
Africa Technology Challenge is like an apprenticeship program
where trainees are provided with a platform to perfect their
skills as they earn an income,” said Mwende.