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Africa Tech Challenge lures young innovators with ‘Made in Kenya’ theme

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The third phase of the Africa Tech Challenge has officially been rolled out with about Sh200,000 cash prizes up for grabs. 
The competition is an initiative of AVIC International, a civic engineering firm based in Nairobi in partnership with Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
According to the firm’s project manager Xin Zhang’, the objective of the competition is to spur a culture of entrepreneurship among the youth by encouraging them to utilize their technical capabilities and creativity to be self-reliant through job creation.
With the new theme ‘Made in Kenya’ this years’ challenge involves a total of 15 teams who undergo intense training by a team of Chinese experts on the making of specimen spare parts and lathe plus techniques they can use during the competition.
A rigorous recruitment exercise has begun targeting youth pursuing technical and vocational training in the country’s tertiary institutions.
“Since we first launched ATC in 2014, we have been training over 290 teachers and students with technical skills. We provide cash awards, internship and full-time working opportunities for outstanding groups and individuals,” said Qian Rong Deputy President of Avic International.
The teams will be tasked with coming up with a mobile application of their choice which will be subjected to tests and review by a panel of experts who will in turn determine the best three apps.
The competition which will take place at the Technical University of Kenya will run from July to September, 2016.
The winning three teams will be awarded a cash prize of Sh200, 000 each, scholarships to study is some of China’s best technology universities and internship renowned tech firms.
“There have been six talented students who won the full scholarships to pursue their Master’s degree in China. More important, AVIC offers the wining schools orders from China. The winning school from the first ATC has already shipped its first $100,000 order to China last month,” Qian added.
The competition has also gone regional with the inclusion of participants from technology-based institutions and universities in neighboring Uganda, Zambia and Ghana.
By Kennedy Njoroge
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