Mr. William Mutuku, Masinga Technical College, Mr. Kennedy Keptoo, Technical University of Kenya and Mr. Johnathan Kiplagat, Rift Valley Technical College have emerged tops in the hotly contested Avic International Africa Tech Challenge season 5, winning a cash prize and scholarships and the top two teams Technical University of Kenya and the Rift Valley Technical Training Institute secured a manufacturing contract to supply spare parts to China worth Kes.10Million.
Speaking at the award ceremony to celebrate the winners, AVIC International Holding Corporation Vice President of International Affairs Jin Shaohua noted that the challenge had indeed achieved real impact in the lives of the African youth that it touched.
“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 just what has made us one of the largest, most reputable and most efficient firms in the world,” he said.
The Principal Secretary: Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, State Department of Investment and Industry Ms Betty Maina was Chief Guest at the award ceremony. She highlighted the fact that the partnership was crucial for fostering Kenya’s Industrialization push.
“The government’s continued partnership in this program is informed by Kenya’s Vision 2030 goal of Industrialization that will create employment and wealth for the country and the overall move by African leaders to start the march towards a seamless Pan African free trade area. Programs such as these are a necessary part of the push to modernize our economies and maximize trade.” She said.
The Africa Tech Challenge (ATC) is a youth empowerment project, which focuses on skills development and empowering the youth from various African states with much needed practical skills. Driven by AVIC International in conjunction with the Government of Kenya through the Ministry of Education, it seeks to equip the youth with modern technical and thus employability skills.
It advocates for “Made in Kenya” Brand through manufacturing contracts award and aligns itself to the Big Four Action Plan of the Jubilee Government in ensuring that it brings dignity and livelihoods to Kenyan and indeed African youth.
Season 5 brought together teams from five African countries including Kenya, Zambia, Ghana, Gabon, and Côte d’Ivoire. Hosted under the Ministry of Education in Kenya, the initiative has trained 33 teams that saw 150 young men and women from across the continent get specialized expertise.
Africa Tech Challenge (ATC) is a skills-based initiative that began as a result of the TVET partnership. The challenge has had 5 successful seasons since its inception in June 2014. It is a youth empowerment program that seeks to equip the youth with technical skills, in the form of a training then a competition with the most outstanding participants receiving fully sponsored Masters’ degree scholarship to prestigious universities in China, cash prizes and employment opportunities. All ATC Participants receive certificates to show participation plus outline the skills gained during training which allows them to access internship/ attachment and job opportunities more easily.