“We are introducing school of engineering in two months timeline ” Mr. Charles Marete, the country’s Managing Director of Express Marine Engineering PLC, in an annual stakeholders meeting held on 13th July made a surprise announcement that elicited mixed reactions among the attendants.
The details about the proposed venture were scanty, however, Mr. Charles reiterated the proposed project was in its final stages and nothing would hold it back.
I was personally able to get the nitty gritty details of the project in a proposal that was presented to me for review.
As per now, I can’t reveal much but in summary, the project targets non Kenyan citizens. The attendants will, according to the proposal, strictly admit a maximum of two individuals from every African country.
The aim of the project is mainly aimed to create manpower for EMK’s Service Center Agencies across African countries including Mauritania.
The training will be a basic engineering course whose period of learning is three months.
Participants, according to the proposal, will be equipped with knowledge and skills in machine maintenance, repair and assembly.
The course features, among other units, Structural Design, Welding & Fabrication, Electrical equipment installation, panel beating and painting.
Focus is on Industrial and Farm machinery (Posho mills, Soap Plodders, Sheet rollers and grain Processors), Irrigation equipment and Air Conditioning systems. Aircraft (drone technology) will also be introduced at a later date.
“The training will be thorough, and successful candidates will qualify for hire in our maintenance agencies. Those who may choose to go private will actually be able to establish and run their own workshops….” this is why we are charging for the training….” said Marete.
The 12-week course will cost each participant Ksh 1.2 million ($12,000). Hostel facilities will be provided but meals will self provided.
If it materializes, the project will be an eye opener, besides providing unparalleled opportunities for many African poor countries (especially the landlocked) in producing and marketing industrial machinery for its own citizens and neighbors.
A participant in the annual seminar noted that many African countries have vast resources for industrial development such as Palm oil, Corn, Cocoa etc, but lack expertise in machine construction despite the abundance of steel used in general house construction.
The courses will be offered in the company’s machine assembly workshop located in the busy industrial area of Nairobi.
On candidate qualifications, the director was liberal, but said the ability to speak English, write and read without difficulty, fast learning through observation and practice will be key features. College graduates will be given first priority.