WorldSkills Kenya (WSK) has today signed a partnership agreement with WorldSkills Germany (WSG) that will help the country establish a WorldSkills movement and organize its inaugural national skills competition.

The MoU, which was signed at a virtual ceremony, will also see WorldSkills Germany mentor WorldSkills Kenya in the development of skills and training of experts and competitors ahead of the planned participation at the continental championship in Namibia earlier next year before taking part at the global skills competition in Shanghai, China late in the year.

The signing ceremony was presided over by TVET Authority (TVETA) Director General and CEO WorldSkills Kenya Dr Kipkirui Langat and the CEO of WorldSkills Germany Hubert Romer. The function was witnessed by the TVETA Board of Directors Chair Prof. Ahmed Ferej, WSK Official Delegate Prof Erich Ogur, Assistant Delegates Faith Langat and James Muchiri and WSK Secretariat Coordinator Japeth Ngeno.

The ceremony was also witnessed by the Director Don Bosco Technology Africa Fr. George Tharaniyil, Deputy Director Bro. John Njuguna, Head of KAM consulting Joyce Njogu, TVET Coordinator KAM, Miranda Pendo and a host of Principals of TVET institutions.

The long-term objectives of the MoU are to expand the organizational structures of WSK secretariat and capacity building of key stakeholders like members of the secretariat, competitors, skills experts and the media.

The partnership will also organize exchange programs to Germany for WSK members to gain a better understanding of the organization and participation in the skills competition and to lobby the German private sector companies and organizations to sponsor WorldSkills Kenya competitions.

During the function, the Principal Secretary in the State Department of Vocational and Technical Training Dr Margaret Mwakima, who was represented by the Deputy Director of TVET Mr John Tuwei said that the country is happy to have Germany as a mentor and a partner.

“We hope that through the guidance of the official Delegates and Skills Experts from World Skills Germany, we will be able to come up with a strong organizational structure that will aggregate inclusive and competent pool of experts to run the day to day affairs of WorldSkills Kenya,” Dr Mwakima said.

TVETA Director-General and CEO WSK Dr Kipkirui Langat said that the partnership has been achieved after a rigorous legal process between the two countries.

“We are happy to enter into this partnership because as a government we joined WorldSkills Competition to strengthen the skills development of our TVET sector and help our young people acquire the relevant skills that can allow them to get opportunities at the international stage,” Dr Langat said.

Dr Langat said that WSK has already picked 16 skills areas that the country will focus on. However, as a start, the country is preparing to participate in three skill areas at the WorldSkills Africa Competition in Namibia next year before taking part in the global competition in Shanghai, China.

“The signing of this MoU will guide us in this journey and we are looking forward to implementing the partnership work plan, which has the full backing of President, the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Principal Secretary for State Department for Vocational and Technical training.”

CEO WorldSkills Germany Hubert Romer said his organization is happy to mentor Kenya and expand the WorldSkills movement in the country.

“The objective of this partnership is to build skills organizing teams, train experts and competitors and organized national skills competition by looking for strong networks and support from the private sector, as well as other partners. We want to build a strong team together and learn from each other,” Romer said.

TVETA Chair of the Board Prof. Ahmed Ferej said it’s a blessing for WSK to be mentored by WSG, noting that Germany is a world-leading country in technology. He applauded the team that planned and executed the partnership.

On his part, the WSK Official Delegate Prof. Erich Ogur noted that the partnership will prepare Kenya to be among the best in skills development and attain international status.

Kenya’s journey to participate in WorldSkills Competition started in 2018 when the country was invited to participate in the Africa Union Skills Competition in Kigali, Rwanda. Later the government was invited as an observer to WorldSkills Competition in Kazan, Russia in 2019 when a decision to join the global skills competition was made and registered with the global skills body.

The WorldSkills International then sent an inspection team led by the former President Mr Simon Bartley, who had a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta. During the meeting held at State House Nairobi, President Kenyatta committed that the government will support the country’s application to join WSI and its participation in the competition.

Mr Bartley visit to Kenya in late February 2020 also coincided with the visit to Kenya by Germany President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Coincidentally, later Mr Bartley held a meeting with President Kenyatta and his German counterpart. In the meeting, President Steinmeier promised that WorldSkills Germany will be at hand to mentor Kenya once it joins the global competition.

That commitment culminated in today’s joint signing ceremony of a partnership agreement by senior officials of the two countries.