ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, April 29 – China on Wednesday launched the Ethiopian Luban Workshop aiming to provide high-end technical skills training to help college students meet the requirements of the emerging global market.
The workshop facility, hosted by the Ethiopian Technical University (ETU) in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, was established by the Chinese Tianjin University of Technology and Education (TUTE), under the guidance of the Ministry of Education of China.
The workshop is envisaged to serve as a center of excellence across four major areas that are industrial sensor technology, mechatronics technology, industrial control technology and industrial robotics technology.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the Ethiopian Luban Workshop, Teshale Berecha, President of ETU, said the establishment of the workshop by the famed Chinese TUTE inside the premises of the ETU will improve the teaching-learning process in the areas of mechatronics, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).
“It will make our graduates familiar with the 21st century skills and knowledge. It will also be used as a training and research hub for industry practitioners to cope up with the very changing industrial requirements,” the ETU President said.
The facility, equipped with world-class technologies in the AI sector, is expected to boost Ethiopia’s industrial development aspiration that would see it becoming the manufacturing hub of Africa by 2025.
Getachew Negash, Director-General of the Ethiopian Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) at the Ethiopian Ministry of Higher Education, also echoed Berecha’s remarks as he emphasized the workshop would not only serve as a training facility for students, but it will also serve as a capacity building center for researchers as well as industry practitioners across the East African country.
“It will remain as a center of research and development to nurture new skills and enhance indigenous knowledge and practices,” the director general stressed.
He stressed that the successful launching of the Ethiopian Luban Workshop signifies the two countries’ strategic cooperation that continued in all development sectors in assuring vast options by scaling up technical skills of young Ethiopians.
The workshop brings together three undergraduate majors of manufacturing technology, electronics and communication technology, electrical and control technology that are available at the ETU.
Zhao Zhiyuan, Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia, said the Ethiopian Luban Workshop “is the latest fruit of deepening cultural and education cooperation between China and Ethiopia.”
“I firmly believe that with support from the two governments, the Tianjin municipality and other relevant parties at different levels, the exchanges and cooperation between institutes of higher education in the field of vocational training will be further strengthened and enjoy greater development,” Zhao said.
“I wish the Ethiopian Luban Workshop even greater success ahead, and I hope it will soon become a new highlight of Ethiopia-China cooperation,” the ambassador added.
The Ethiopian Luban Workshop launching ceremony involved two separate events that were held both in Ethiopia and China via a video link, bringing together senior Ethiopian and Chinese government officials and diplomats.
The event witnessed the handing over of Luban workshop training books, teaching materials and standards of Luban Workshop to the Ethiopian side.
Ethiopia’s Ambassador to China, Teshome Toga Chanaka, addressing the event via a video link from China, said the world-class workshop will enable Ethiopian youth’s capabilities in line with the emerging global technological advancements.
Noting that Ethiopian and China attach great importance to their partnership in human capacity development, the Ethiopian ambassador stressed that the newly launched Ethiopia Luban Workshop injects much-needed momentum in further deepening the two countries’ ties across education and training.
In September 2018, China announced that 10 Luban workshops would be established in Africa to provide vocational skills training for African youths, under the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.
Since Africa’s first Luban Workshop was launched in Djibouti back in March 2019, a number of African countries such as Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda have launched world-class Luban Workshops with the aim of providing quality vocational training to local people, the country’s youth in particular.