The first group of Kenyan team for the WorldSkills Africa Competition to be held at the Coastal town of Swakopmund, Namibia leaves today ahead of the four-day competition starting on Tuesday next week.

The TVET Authority Director-General and CEO of WorldSkills Kenya (WSK) Dr Kipkirui Langat will lead the advance team of four experts who will join other countries from Africa taking part in the 2nd edition of the premier skills competition. The inaugural WorldSkills Africa event was hosted by Rwanda in 2018.

More than 100 competitors from 11 African countries are to compete in sixteen different technical and vocational trade areas at the event, including an international conference and a careers exhibition.

Dr Langat is a moderator in one of the conferences that will be held before the actual competition kicks off while the experts are going ahead to prepare the competition set up before the competitors from TVET institutions across Africa take to stage for square out for accolades in 16 different skills areas.

The second batch of four competitors and technical officials leave on Friday before the last team of observes consisting of government officials, principals of TVET institutions, TVET trainers and trainees will leave on Sunday ahead of the opening ceremony the following day.

Kenya will be represented by a team of four students who will compete in two skills areas. They include Joseph Kiarie (cooking) and Shradha Shah (Restaurant Services) both from Boma International Hospitality College (BIHC). The others are Victoria Wambui of Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology and Maxwell Kipruto Magoi of the Dedan Kimathi University of Technology who will compete in the Mechatronics skills area.

The TVETA DG Dr Langat today held a brief meeting with part of the travelling team ahead of the departure. He said the country has prepared well for the inaugural competition in the three skills areas.

“Today we are happy as a country because we are joining the international community in an event that promotes skills development. As a country, we have taken our steps since we were admitted to WorldSkills Competition two years ago.”

Kenya became the 84th member of WorldSkills International in June 2020.

“This is going to be a huge opportunity for our students to showcase their potential and our experts to learn more and build their capacities so as to prepare our competitors well in future competitions like the upcoming WorldSkills Competition in Shanghai, China in October this year. Participating in this competition also demonstrates the seriousness of the government in skills development and giving the youth opportunities to excel in different skills areas,” Dr Langat said.

In preparation for this competition, the team of students and skills experts has been trained by experts from WorldSkills German, who are currently mentoring Kenya in 10 out of the 16 skills the country has selected to enter in future competitions. There are over 80 skill areas a country can pick and compete at the global stage.

Kenya is also at an advanced stage to ink an MoU with WorldSkills UK for mentorship in three skills areas while WorldSkills France, Australia and South Korea will take up the remaining skills areas.