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Final preparations before opening of the new training centre in Nigeria
In Spring of 2020, the "Nachwuchsstiftung Maschinenbau", a foundation supported by the VDMA e.V., will open the new premises of the training centre in Obajana, Nigeria, together with its Nigerian partner "Aliko Dangote Foundation". The final preparations are in full swing.


The number of Covid19 cases continues to rise in Africa as well. The ongoing training and education courses of the VDMA initiative are therefore currently being continued via "distance learning". Further training courses have been paused for the time being until further notice. Many African countries have already introduced relevant measures, which also affect the international economy and international trade partnerships with African countries. Below is an overview of helpful sources of information on the developments of Covid 19 in Africa.
On 16.03.2020 Elke Büdenbender officially took over the patronage for the VDMA initiative "Skilled Workers for Africa" during a meeting in Bellevue Castle
13 VDMA member companies took part in the business initiation trip to Ethiopia from 10 to 13 February 2020 initiated by the Association. During the B2B talks, the factory visits and the symposium in Addis Ababa, there were signs of increased investment in finishing.
On February 3, 2020, the first run of the "Mechatronics Technician" training program started at the CITF Training Center in Botswana as part of the "Skilled Workers for Africa" initiative
The VDMA Services GmbH is organizing the fourth exchange of experience in Kenya in February 2020.
In Spring of 2020, the "Nachwuchsstiftung Maschinenbau", a foundation supported by the VDMA e.V., will open the new premises of the training centre in Obajana, Nigeria, together with its Nigerian partner "Aliko Dangote Foundation". The final preparations are in full swing.
From November 17th to November 21st 2019, the second makeathon on the African continent took place with the SMART GREEN BOTSWANA MAKEATHON
In November 2019, the VDMA welcomed a delegation from Botswana within its initiative "Skilled Workers for Africa"
During the German-African Business Summit, which took place from 11 to 13 February 2019 in the Ghanaian capital Accra, Federal Development Minister Dr. Gerd Müller presented the "German Entrepreneur Award for Development" to HAWE Hydraulic SE.
Mechanical engineering industry supports the development of sustainable economic structures - Only 2 percent of machine exports go to Africa
In Africa, especially in Kenya, Nigeria and Botswana, the VDMA is currently implementing its "Skilled Workers for Africa" initiative, which was launched by former VDMA President Dr. Reinhold Festge and Federal Minister Gerd Müller. The German Agency for Economic Affairs & Development (AWE) spoke with the current VDMA President Carl Martin Welcker about how the qualification of local staff prepares the ground for investments by German mechanical and plant engineering companies.
Für seine Initiative „Fachkräfte für Afrika“ hat der VDMA jüngst einen wichtigen lokalen Partner, die Kenya Association of Manufacturers,als Mitstreiter gewonnen.
In February 2018, the first training courses of VDMA’s technical vocational training project in Kenya will start. VDMA is implementing these courses in Kenya within the framework of its “Skilled Workers for Africa” Initiative. Following the successful project Kick-off event in October 2017, VDMA and its local partner training center - Centurion Systems Limited - presented the training program at a Stakeholder workshop in Nairobi.
The largest German industry association VDMA and the Kenyan technology service provider Centurion have launched a joint project to support the Kenyan food processing industry by providing training and sharing expert advice and experience.

The Project "Skilled Workers for Africa"

The Approach

The core of the VDMA-Initiative is to offer technical vocational education and further training for skilled workers which is geared towards the needs of the local industry in cooperation with local partners, organizations and the private sector.

The Partners

Capacity building with a vision: Collaboration with well established, locally rooted and highly networked local organizations is a key success factor of the VDMA-Initiative.

Get Involved

Interested companies can participate in the initiative in a variety of ways - for instance: by making use of the training program, by providing equipment or by organizing study tours or training the trainers / instructors.

The Countries


Together with the Dangote Group, VDMA is establishing a training center in Obajana, which focuses on technical vocational education and training in the fields of mechanics, electronics and mechatronics. The training is based on the German model of dual track education system.


The food market in Kenya is developing at a rapid pace. With a practice-oriented vocational education program and further technical training for the employees of the Kenyan food industry, VDMA- Initiative makes an important contribution to meeting the high demand for qualified skilled workers in this sector.


Based on a close cooperation with the Botswana Ministry of Education, we are paving the way for technical vocational education and training in the areas of control technology, hydraulics and mechatronics

Dr. Norbert Völker
Dr. Norbert Völker
Education Policy Consultant, Skilled Workers for Africa Project Manager
Rachel Njau
Rachel Njau
Project Assistant