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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Chinese firm award 100,000 USD to
winners of technical skills contest

By Christine Lagat NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Chinese firm Avic International has awarded 100,000 U.S. dollars manufacturing contract to two winners of the fifth edition of Africa Technology Challenge (ATC).

The two top winners of ATC season five, Technical University of Kenya and Rift Valley Technical Training Institute, will split the prize money and commence manufacturing of spare parts for export to China.

“Our partnership with Avic International is helping the country address skills gap in the manufacturing sector,” said Betty Maina, Principal Secretary in the State Department of Industry, during the award ceremony of winners of ATC season five held in Nairobi on Thursday evening.

Guo Ce, Economic and Commercial Counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, and senior executives from AVIC International graced the occasion to reward winners of the technical skills contest that was launched in July.

The fifth edition of ATC that drew 108 participants from Kenya, Zambia, Gabon, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire focused on advanced training in computerized numerical machine techniques and mechatronics engineering.

Participants who were predominantly college students underwent a 45-day practical training and mentorship at a Nairobi-based vocational training institute to upgrade their skills in diverse engineering disciplines.

The three most outstanding participants who were all Kenyan nationals secured scholarships to pursue a post-graduate degree in engineering-related field in China.

“Apart from helping Kenya with infrastructure construction, Chinese enterprises also highlight technological transfer to Kenyan staff, with ATC a good case in point,” said Guo.

Guo said ATC is the example of the practical move taken by Chinese enterprises to emphasize Africa’s human resource development, enhance blood-making function of Kenyan and African manufacturing industry, and “teach Africa to fish instead of giving it a fish.”

He noted that Chinese enterprises operating in Africa have not only created jobs for the youth but have also been at the forefront of promoting skills and technological transfer in the continent.

Jin Shaohua, Vice President of International Affairs at AVIC International Holding Corporation, said the technical skills contests have transformed the lives of African youth.

“As AVIC International, we are proud to note that this new cohort of winners, in season 5, will join the winners from the past four seasons in working with some of the best master craftsmen and engineers that the world has to offer and learn what has made us one of the largest, most reputable and most efficient firms in the world,” said Jin.

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