Kenyan-German Qualification Project Launched

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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.

Nairobi/Kenya, Frankfurt/Germany, October 2, 2017: The Kenyan food market is continuously growing – over the last decade the annual value of food and beverages produced in the country has increased by more than 150 percent up to 5 billion Euros in 2016. Therefore, the food and beverage processing industry has become Kenya's most important industrial sector. “The need for skilled workers for this sector is evident,” said Richard Clemens, Managing Director of the German VDMA Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association.


This requirement was the impetus for a unique Kenyan-German cooperation project launched today as part of a Kick-Off involving almost 100 participants from the Kenyan and the German food and beverage processing industry. “The new training centre is another cornerstone of the close cooperation between our two countries and moreover, it provides the right response to the qualification challenges,” added Clemens with reference to the long-term record of successful cooperation between his organisation and partners from Kenya's food processing sector.

Practical training and exchange of experiences
The training center based in Nairobi is the result of joint project between the VDMA and the Kenyan Centurion Systems Limited. It offers practice-oriented qualification programs for local workers. “Our training concept is especially designed for machine operators and maintenance staff of food producers or equipment suppliers.” explained Dr. Kevit Desai, Managing Director of Centurion Systems Limited. The centre also functions as a meeting place for Kenyan and German companies.

“Due to the positive outlook, more and more German companies are going to engage with the Kenyan food market,” said Dr. Norbert Voelker, Project Director at VDMA. “Therefore, VDMA is eager to promote local workers being given practical training in order to support the efforts of our industry,” explained Voelker. The VDMA and its Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association have successfully worked together with Kenyan companies as well as with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization UNIDO for many years. UNIDO is also part of the project funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation and the VDMA.

Courses start in January 2018
The training program is based on the dual concept – the combination of theoretical and practical training – that has proven very successful in Germany, especially among small- and medium-sized companies. The first courses, which will be held at the Centurion facilities in Nairobi, will start in January 2018. The technical courses are designed for operators and servicing staff of food makers and equipment suppliers and address aspects of food safety and maintenance. Train-the-trainer courses aim at capacity building inside companies, ensuring a high-level of qualification among training personnel. The course program is now open for registration.

The VDMA has initiated similar projects in Botswana and Nigeria. All follow the same approach of close cooperation with a local training institution and the deep involvement of local and German companies.


Dr. Kevit Desai
Centurion Systems Limited
New Rehema House, Rhapta Road, Westlands
P.O. Box 66031 – 00800
Nairobi / Kenya

Phone: +254 20 4440102/3


About Centurion
Centurion Systems Limited is a Kenyan technology service provider with more than 20 years of experience in the field of industrial services, professional development as well as research and innovation. Key thematic areas are automation, mechanical engineering and Lean Manufacturing. Centurion provides its services to customers in the Eastern Africa region for almost all industry sectors – covering mining, energy up to production.

Dr. Norbert Voelker
VDMA “Educational Policy”
Lyoner Strasse 18
60528 Frankfurt / Germany

Phone: +49 69 6603-1650

About VDMA
VDMA (Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau e.V., German Engineering Association) represents over 3,200 mostly medium-sized companies in the capital goods industry, making it the largest industry association in Germany. The Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association within VDMA is the union of around 300 predominantly medium-sized companies. They represent the Bakery Machinery, Meat Processing Machinery, Beverage Machines and Dairy Technology, Confectionery Machinery, Machines and Equipment for the Pharmaceutical and Cosmetics Industry and Packaging Machinery.