The eighth edition of the Africa Tech Challenge (ATC) is back in Kenya.
An initiative of China’s AVIC International, this year’s challenge is targeting contestants from nine African countries, namely Uganda, Ghana, Gabon, Egypt, Zambia, Tanzania, Cote d’Ivoire, Zimbabwe and the host Kenya.
Themed ‘Role of Engineering in Driving Industrialization in Africa,’ this year’s learning and competition will focus on the rapidly developing construction industry, notably the design component.
Contestants will be able to boost design abilities, especially in reading and drafting construction drawings using cutting-edge technology tools such as CNC Lathe Machining and ZWCAD, among others.
It will start with practical and theory training lessons, and will see top six teams walk away with numerous prizes.
The initiative takes the shape of a training program and a competition, with the most outstanding participants getting fully financed scholarships to study in prestigious Chinese universities.
Moreover, all Africa Tech Challenge participants receive certificates to show their participation and to highlight the skills they learned during the session.
This makes it simpler for them to obtain future internships or attachments and job opportunities in different institutions of Africa and other parts of the world.
Africa Tech Challenge is also a significant economic development driver since it drives solutions to challenges in the national economy that need interdisciplinary use of science and technology.
For this year’s competition, vocational institutions will create teams of four, with one instructor and three students under the age of 24.
In total, 236 students (59 teams) from six of the countries–Kenya, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ghana, and Uganda–are enrolled for ATC Season Seven.
The sixth season challenge focused on enhancing the participant’s skills in CNC Lathe Machining Techniques, in support of the government’s continued efforts to achieve the Big Four Agenda.
AVIC International has operated in Kenya for over 20 years, where it now has various projects in Infrastructure Construction Contracting, Real Estate, and many CSR operations in Vocational Education.
AVIC is now developing the Global Trade Center (GTC), thought to be the largest investment in Nairobi County, and its completion expected to result in the creation of more than 10,000 jobs.
It will also serve as the African headquarters for AVIC International.
State Department for Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Principal Secretary Esther Thaara Muoria, who presided over the opening session of the month-long technical engagement, acknowledged continued partnership between AVIC International and the Government of Kenya through the Ministry of Education since 2010.
“Through this partnership, 154 TVET institutions have been equipped with modern equipment enabling our institutions produce graduates with a hands-on experience to meet the labour and industrial demands.” Muoria said.
“We live in an age where technology is the driving force behind our progress and innovation. It has revolutionized the world, shaped industries, economies, and connections with one another; today, we have gathered here not only to witness this power, but also to be a part of it.”
She said the technology challenge marks a pivotal moment in Kenya’s collective pursuit to push the boundaries of human potential, adding that it is an opportunity to showcase local skills, creativity, and problem-solving abilities at the intersection of science and technology.
“It is a platform where we can harness the wonders of technology to drive change, solve real-world problems, and create a brighter future for all.” She told the participants.