Zambia to host World Skills Africa Competition in 2025

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WITH its determination to rise to the occasion in skilled trade training, Zambia is now earning recognition as a top dog in heavy duty automotive and management on the continent and has since qualified to to host the World Skills Africa Competition next year.

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As the country prepares for the skills contest, Minister of Technology and Science Felix Mutati advocated for competence among the students in TEVET institutions.

Speaking when he set in motion the equipment in heavy duty management at Kitwe Vocational Training Centre in Kitwe on Monday, Mutati indicated that the selection of competitors should not be territorial as knowledge ought to be shared.

“Select from everywhere so that culture must be mixed, what we are looking for is competence and competence is not associated with any particular location, it’s only associated with the mind. If you have the correct mind competence will fall on you,” he said.

“Zambia has won the bid to host the competition to hold the world skills Africa competition next year in April. This competition will include what we are doing in the mining sector. The whole of Africa will congregate in Zambia in Livingstone to compete on skills that you are acquiring.”

He told the students to prepare adequately especially on mining topics.

“Zambia is renowned as a hub of mining, imagine a country without mining to come and beat us on home soil, that we refuse. Maybe away game, yes you can say jet lag or something but not on home ground, let’s prepare our kids,” he said.

“In preparation for the world skills day, we are going to have competitions between the Southern region and Northern region to pick the best students who will compete at the national level for us to select a team that will play in the champions league.”

Mutati emphasized that students should not miss out on the competition especially that Zambia is the host nation.

“Perfect the skills, prepare adequately, it will be embarrassing that for you are located at the heart of mining and yet you don’t have a single student that will participate in the competition, that will be embarrassing. I would like to thank cooperating partners. US$4.4 million dollars will be invested only in this college so we still have money from corporating partners to buy equipment and other things to sharpen these skills.”

KVTC principal Chrispin Kakoma said the project which is a Public-Private Development Partnership (PPDP) between Zambia, Japan, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and Hitachi Construction Machinery (HM), endeavors to foster a skilled labor force in heavy equipment operations, with a keen emphasis on Zambian youth and gender inclusivity.

He said following the successful and timely completion of curriculum development led by TEVETA and the supply of training equipment, KVTC is ready to initiate training, commencing with Excavator operations.

“At the TVET level, this training program serves as a flagship initiative, setting a precedent for excellence in heavy equipment operator training within Zambia,”Kakoma said.

“We firmly believe that the successes achieved through this project will not only benefit the youth but also serve as a boon for industry stakeholders. By equipping graduates with essential skills and operational knowledge, we aim to minimize the need for costly retraining, thereby enhancing operational efficiency for industry firms.”

He beseeched industry players to help in enhancing and tailoring the training program to meet the evolving demands of the labor market.

“The total project budget stands at 4.4 million USD, with the Government of Japan generously contributing 3.63 million USD for comprehensive equipment procurement, project implementation, encompassing infrastructure development, staff training programs, and ancillary expenses,”said Kakoma

“Hitachi Construction Machinery’s contribution, valued at 0.43 million USD, encompasses technical support, provision of training materials, and tools. Additionally, the Government of Zambia has committed 0.34
million USD, including curriculum development, provision of bursaries to over 250 Zambian youths throughout the project duration, and facilitating seamless project execution.”

Earlier the minister made a sight visit at the new Sino-Zam Vocational College of Science &
Technology campus which is under construction and launched the Auto Body Repair And Comiort System Workshop at the old campus.

Jolick Yamwa hailed government for the CDF skills bursary fund initiative as 67 vulnerable students at the institution have been able to access education.

Wang Jingjun who is chairman for CNMC Luanshya Copper Mines, said a total of US$3.9 million dollars has been spent on the construction of the New Campus and other associated accessories.

By Mwaka Ndawa

Kalemba February 28, 2024.

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