China to start producing spare parts in Kenya to enhance skills transfer

Kabete, Nyeri, Kenya and Rift Valley technical training institutes are the four technical institutes identified for the project.

Kenya is in talks with a Chinese firm to set up its construction equipment spare parts shop at four technical institutes.

Kabete, Nyeri, Kenya and Rift Valley technical training institutes are the four technical institutes identified for the project according to State Department of Vocational and Technical Training principal secretary Dinah Mwinzi.

“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.

Once the manufacture of heavy construction equipment spare parts project picks off it will be expanded to include the five other technical institutes.

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.

Like most African countries, Kenya's import and export trade with the west is heavily in favor with the west with the country only exporting agriculture produce and importing the same back when it has been processed not to mentioned heavy machinery parts the former cannot produce.

Official data shows China shipped goods worth Sh251.2 billion ($2.4b) to Kenya in the year to July, a 40 per cent growth from Sh179.6 billion ($1.7b) in a similar period in 2016, while Kenya exported goods worth a paltry Sh4.4 billion ($42m).

Avic announced selection of Rift Valley and Kenya technical institutes as this year’s winners of the one-off Sh10 million ($96,970) 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.

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