Tech competition aims to improve lives of young people |
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Tech competition aims to improve lives of young people

facebook twitter linkedin | Updated: Aug 08, 2022
Speakers at the online opening ceremony in Beijing at the AVIC International headquarters. [Photo provided to]

AVIC International Holding Corporation (AVIC International), a global share-holding enterprise affiliated with the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), launched an African youth empowering program with the Ministry of Education of Kenya on July 23 for its seventh season since 2014.

The Africa Tech Challenge (ATC), aimed at providing youngsters with technical skills through training and competition, is taking 236 participants making 59 teams from Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Egypt, Zambia and Zimbabwe this year to train and compete on construction design skills.

Winning individuals of participating teams from the six countries will be awarded following a one-month preliminary training and the competition itself. The top three teams of the final competition will be awarded and the three top final contestants will get opportunities to study in China with full scholarships. Job and internship opportunities will be offered to outstanding participants in the competitions. The final training, competition and awards ceremony will take place in Kenya in November.

A screen shot of participants in the opening ceremony on July 23. [Photo provided to]

"It is our sincere hope that we can help African people improve their capabilities and skills and increase the employment rate of young people based on local demand through the ATC," said Qian Rong, general manager of AVIC INTL Project Engineering Company, a subsidiary of AVIC International.

"Making Africa a different place can only be made possible by investing in skills, and the ATC will make a major impact in skills development in Africa and Kenya," said Bernard Shikoli Isalambo, deputy director of the State Department for Vocational and Technical Training, Ministry of Education of Kenya, during the ceremony. "The ATC is not just a competition and it will be a mindset change for youngsters in all the participating countries."

"It is very important for Zambia to participate in this challenge because for the students and mentors it will be an opportunity to train and enhance their skills and form new bonds with other countries," said Esther Mondoloka, senior TEVET officer of skills development, Ministry of Technology and Science of Zambia. Mondoloka also shared that being part of it is "in line with the government's agenda of empowering the youth with the skills they require to better their lives and enhance their opportunities."

Bernard Shikoli Isalambo, deputy director of the State Department for Vocational and Technical Training, Ministry of Education of Kenya speaks during the opening ceremony. [Photo provided to]

Officers from the ministries of education in participating countries, deans and presidents from vocational and technical institutions as well as participating teams joined the online ceremony.

During this season of the ATC, an AVIC vocational online education platform will be used for the training and will continue providing opportunities for African youngsters to learn in the future. The training started on July 25.

For the past six seasons of the ATC, AVIC International has funded and trained over 700 young people, engaging 203 colleges and universities from eight African countries including Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Zambia, Gabon, Cote d'Ivoire, Tanzania and Ethiopia. The training and competition program was halted in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.