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Kenya youths see potential in China firms

By OTIATO OPALI in Nairobi, Kenya | China Daily Global | Updated: 2024-05-24 09:36
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Huawei's logo. [Photo/VCG]

Chinese enterprises are attracting college talent from Kenya and other African countries in technology and other career paths, as hundreds of college students flocked to a career fair that kicked off on Wednesday in Kenya's capital Nairobi.

The job fair, which lasts until Friday, held at the University of Nairobi, attracted 54 recruiters from Kenya and various other countries, and international organizations based in Kenya. About half of the employers are Chinese companies, according to the Confucius Institute at the university.

Wang Shangxue, director of the institute, said the recruitment exercise not only enables Chinese companies to select the best Kenyan students, but also guides the students in selecting the best path to their desired careers.

Samuel Amukowa, a high school student at Reverend Muhoro Secondary School for the Deaf, was hoping to pursue a career as a sign language interpreter. However, after visiting the Huawei Kenya stand at the career fair, he was able to explore different avenues to reach his aspirations.

"I have always wanted to work in a field where I can help people with a disability. As I pursued my studies, I always thought that the only way to work in the field involving the deaf was through sign language interpretation," Amukowa said, adding that he was attracted to the Huawei stand because of the advanced technology that the company excels in.

High-tech areas

"However, the officials at the Huawei stand have shown me different areas in information technology where I can apply my skills, like developing artificial intelligence tools to help with interpretation."

Though Amukowa is just a high school student, he said he has decided to work toward a career in technology when he gets to college with the information he received at the fair. He was among the many students who were attracted to the booths of Chinese companies during the opening ceremony of the fair on Wednesday, most of whom said it has given them an opportunity to broaden their knowledge of their prospective careers and make connections to possible employers.

Harriet Wanjiku, a recruiter from Kevla Motorcycle and Spare Parts Company, a Chinese enterprise in Kenya, said it is important to open channels of communication for students with regard to career guidance, mentorship and talent identification.

"I attended the career fair and talked to the recruiter at this company's stand. He advised me to get some training in marketing, though I had studied for a bachelor's degree in education. I left them my contact details and when they were recruiting this year, I was among their first picks," Wanjiku said.

The annual fair, which is hosted by the Confucius Institute at the University of Nairobi with the support of Chinese enterprises in Kenya, offers hundreds of job opportunities for Kenyan students who are able to connect and exchange contacts with possible employers.

Naomi Nyaboga, section head in the office of career services at the University of Nairobi, said Chinese enterprises have been instrumental in offering students an opportunity to explore new-age careers.

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