Meru National Polytechnic has emerged third position in the Africa Tech Challenge (ATC) pitting six African countries. Northern Technical College from Zambia scooped second position while Luyanzi Institute of Technology, also from Zambia, was first position at the seventh Africa Tech Challenge (ATC), a competition seeking to empower youth with technical training in Africa.
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Kenya was followed by Egypt, Zimbabwe and Ghana respectively, according to the results announced at the awards ceremony in Nairobi. The competition focused on boosting design abilities in reading and drafting construction drawings using cutting-edge technology tools.
Kenya’s Educatíon Cabinet Secretary, Mr Ezekiel Machogu, hailed the initiative, saying it has equipped local technical and vocational educatíon to manufacture machine spare parts for export to China. “We welcome more participants from the private sector including Chinese investors to participate in programs like the ATC, which not only creates employment but also transfers the necessary skills for our young people to be entrepreneurs,” noted the Secretary.
Counselor at the Chinese Embassy to Kenya, Ms Zhou Meifen, underscored the significance of the competition, describing it as an avenue for reducing unemployment through skill transfers.
“The program, which started in 2014, has covered 248 institutions across 10 African countries. The Chinese government will continue supporting the initiative and to increase the number of scholarships awards to study in China,” the counselor said.
AVIC International, a Chinese multinational firm behind the innovation programme, announced that the winners would be provided with interview opportunities for internships, jobs and scholarships to pursue further studies at top institutions in China.
Xu Fei, the Vice President of AVIC International Project Engineering Company, a subsidiary of AVIC International, added that for the last six years, the firm has devoted resources to provide essential skills to African youth for the modern job market through training and equipping technological institutions with the latest machines.
“The seventh ATC training and competition were digitally supported by AVIC International’s online educatíon platform which delivered services such as live streaming and the recording of remote training assignments and exams, allowing participants from different countries to participate in the training,” said Xu Fei.
Through the online training format, this year’s challenge benefitted a total of 65 teams and 259 students as well as teachers from 45 institutions participated in this year’s challenge.
This year’s ATC was a continuation of the previous “training + competition” model and saw a month of online intensive training from July 25 to August 22 for participants from different countries.
The preliminary round was held on August 25 where one team from each of the six countries was selected to participate in the final round, with the first phase being launched on November 13 and the final one on November 19.