Kenya is in talks with a Chinese firm seeking investment in production of construction equipment spare parts at four technical institutes.
State Department of Vocational and Technical Training principal secretary Dinah Mwinzi said the scaling-up strategy would benefit Kabete, Nyeri, Kenya and Rift Valley technical training institutes.
“We need to reverse the balance of trade deficit that greatly favours China, which exports more goods and services to Kenya, by collaborating with them to impart skills on our trainees who could make products of high quality for export to China,” she said.
Official data shows China shipped goods worth Sh251.2 billion to Kenya in the year to July, a 40 per cent growth from Sh179.6 billion in a similar period in 2016, while Kenya exported goods worth a paltry Sh4.4 billion.
Dr Mwinzi was speaking during the 4th Africa Tech Challenge launch dubbed ‘Jenga Vijana’ where Chinese firm Avic international sponsored 105 interns for apprenticeship in carpentry, masonry and steelworks at its Africa headquarters complex in Nairobi.
Avic announced selection of Rift Valley and Kenya technical institutes as this year’s winners of the one-off Sh10 million deal where students at the two institutions will be trained on select heavy construction equipment spare parts manufacturing with the products exported to China.
International chief representative Zhou Leilei said local Chinese contractors had also been roped in to employ graduating trainees in various disciplines.
Dr Mwinzi said the manufacture of heavy construction equipment spare parts project will be expanded to include the five other technical institutes.