Taita Taveta University (TTU) has signed an MoU with China Dongying Vocational Institute for the opening of the second Luban workshop at the university.
The online ceremony was witnessed by the PS university education and research Amb. Simon Nabukwesi, Ambassador Sarah Serem, Kenya’s Ambassador to Beijing China, officials under the Ministry of Education China, The President of Dongying Vocational Institute, Li Yancheng, Prof. Fred Simiyu Barasa, the Vice Chancellor of Taita Taveta University and his members of staff.
Speaking during the launch at the University Principal Secretary University Education and research Amb. Simon Nabukwesi said the collaboration will advance higher education collaboration in Vocational and Technical Training between Kenya and China.
“We know that in line with TTU’s motto of “Home of Ideas”, taking informed risks into unchartered spheres has been your trait, remembering how as a young institution in 2008 you launched the Mining Engineering Programme while the Mining Sub-Sector was still underdeveloped and insignificant in Kenya”, said the PS.
Adding that: “The Country’s planners only woke up to the mining and petroleum potential at the development of the Second Medium Term Plan (2013-2017) of the Kenya Vision 2030 due to the discovery of oil in Kenya in March 2012, and gas in September of the same year.”
The PS noted that technical skills workforce shortage for the Oil and Gas Sub-Sector exists throughout the Eastern and Southern Africa region, and the Kenyan Luban Workshop will serve as the Centre of Excellence for oil and gas trade skills in the region.
The University’s Vice Chancellor Prof. Simiyu Barasa said that during the September 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) it was agreed that China will establish ten (10) Luban Workshops in Africa to provide Vocational Skills Training for the Youth of Africa and other local people and promote youth innovation and entrepreneurship.
He added that launch of Kenya’s second Luban Workshop makes it a significant milestone towards realization of that goal, and will have spin-offs for the workforce required by segments of the Blue Economy that Kenya has embarked on developing.
The PS noted that the signing of the MoU will deliver vocational and technical training in the field of petroleum engineering, petrochemical engineering and new generation of information technology.
He reiterated the Ministry’s commitment to fully support the DVI and TTU partnership to deliver on the mandate of the Luban Workshop for the Petroleum Industry, the youth and the local people of Kenya.
Through the MoU Kenyan TTU teachers would receive training both at Dongying Vocational Institute and at other relevant universities in China.
It will also serve as a base for Kenya students on overseas study tours and practice in China.
The Centre will enable Taita Taveta University students to get more practice opportunities, more innovation and entrepreneurship education thereby strengthening the cooperation between the two parties in innovation and entrepreneurship.