AVIC International Kenya Representative Zhooi Lei Lei (left) poses for a picture with one of the beneficiaries of AVIC Tech Challenge (ATC) Charity Ojwang who is studying for a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering at Beihang University in China. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITUAVIC International Kenya Representative Zhooi Lei Lei (left) poses for a picture with one of the beneficiaries of AVIC Tech Challenge (ATC) Charity Ojwang who is studying for a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering at Beihang University in China. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU
By HILARY KIMUYU

The winning participants of the Africa Tech Challenge Season 4 will get employment opportunities by AVIC International at the site of what is currently Nairobi’s largest investment, the Global Trade Centre.

Dubbed Jenga Vijana, the challenge was recently launched by AVIC International, in partnership with the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs, Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives .

The challenge, which is the fourth Africa Tech Challenge by AVIC International, is a Civil Construction Skills based challenge.

“With the youth unemployment rate in Kenya currently standing at around 22%, it is crucial to channel resources towards developing our human capital. The importance of ensuring quality education that will align with market needs cannot be underrated,” said Mr Zhao Leilei, Chief Representative, AVIC International Holding Corporation, Kenya.

“It is true that most youths are left to do with informal employment where it is available. Improving their skills, therefore, is of the utmost importance,” he added.

The previous 3 challenges focused on students in tertiary institutions training in technical subjects for prizes which included cash prizes and scholarship opportunities.

Love for the Child Chairperson Nelson Mwangi (left) exchanges an MOU with AVIC Tech Challenge (ATC) Project Manager Lynette Mwende (right) during the launch of the of the ATC season 4 'Jenga Vijana' on November 27, 2017 in Nairobi. Looking on is AVIC International Kenya Representative Zhooi Lei Lei. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU

Love for the Child Chairperson Nelson Mwangi (left) exchanges an MOU with AVIC Tech Challenge (ATC) Project Manager Lynette Mwende (right) during the launch of the of the ATC season 4 ‘Jenga Vijana’ on November 27, 2017 in Nairobi. Looking on is AVIC International Kenya Representative Zhooi Lei Lei. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU

FOURTH EDITION

The fourth edition of the Africa Tech Challenge will focus on 3 civil construction-based skills, carpentry, brick-laying, and steelworks. The competition, which has already kicked off, has attracted 105 participants, 40 in Carpentry, 25 in Brick Laying, and 40 in Steelworks.

The training for Jenga Vijana participants will be conducted by experts from ZJCC Construction and Engineering, one of the world’s foremost construction companies. The trainees are given a daily allowance.

Training at the Global Trade Centre site will ensure that they are exposed to the best talent and machinery, equipping them with the necessary skills for the marketplace.

“The Kenyan construction sector is highly vibrant and promises to stay that way. This year’s challenge will see the participants advance their civil construction skills while earning an income throughout the competition period,” said Mr Leilei.

Speaking at the event, the Principal Secretary, State Department of Vocational and Training, Ministry of Youth, Dr Dinah Mwinzi reiterated the government’s commitment to youth empowerment and skills development.

“ATC can be used a vehicle for raising awareness and informing Kenyans about the diversity of opportunities that may result through advancing skills development. To this end, we continue to enhance training opportunities for young people for the sole purpose of industrializing our country,” she said.