NAIROBI, May 16 (Xinhua) -- Flourishing Sino-Kenya bilateral ties have lately focused on human resources development to bridge skills gap across key economic sectors in the East African nation, an official of the Chinese embassy in Kenya said.
Guo Ce, Economic and Commercial Counsellor at the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, said Beijing has prioritized skills and technology transfer to empower local youth in its bilateral cooperation with East Africa's largest economy.
Guo singled out Chinese companies for providing a platform for Kenyans to hone skills and earn decent wages.
"According to the released data by Kenya-China Economic and Trade Association, 78 percent of full time employees and 95 percent of part-time employees are locals in Chinese companies currently operating in Kenya," Guo said in a recent statement issued in Nairobi.
He also noted that local Kenyans working for Chinese companies are rising through the ranks to occupy senior management positions.
Chinese enterprises have been at the forefront of transforming Kenyan communities through investments in job creating projects and training of unskilled youth to boost their employability.
Guo said these enterprises have managed to raise the living standard of local people through investments that are sensitive to local customs and environmental regulations.
The Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) that will be commissioned on June 1 is the embodiment of Sino-Africa collaboration in skills upgrade and technology transfer.
Guo noted that by the end of 2016, the SGR project had created 42,000 jobs for the locals that included 8,976 Kenyan technical workers and 8,790 management staff.
"The level of localized management is therefore effectively enhanced. In addition, the SGR project plans to recruit 1,452 employees for its operations," said Guo.
He revealed that an additional 2,000 Kenyans will be trained to enhance their capacity to operate and maintain the modern railway line that is expected to transform regional economies.
Kenya has been a major beneficiary of training programs sponsored by the Chinese government and enterprises to help address skills deficit in the country.
According to Guo, human resources development will enable Kenya usher in a promising era of growth, prosperity and peace.
"Kenya is in the first batch of pilot countries to carry out the three networks and industrialization and industrial capacity cooperation initiated by China under which the human capacity building is one of the pillars," said Guo.
He disclosed that from 2015 to 2016, more than 1,200 Kenyans benefited from China-sponsored training in strategic areas like agriculture, industry, trade, finance, tourism, security, health and infrastructure.
Guo added that Chinese companies have invested in vocational training for Kenyan youth to enhance their employability and capacity to start a business.
Such training programs are not only highly rated by Kenyan beneficiaries but have also enhanced their technical and soft skills to enable them fit in the modern job market.
Guo also cited a government commissioned study released in December last year which showed that Kenyans are enthusiastic on enlisting in China-funded refresher courses that guarantee career mobility.