27 September 2023
Kagem commits to funding Chapula vocational training centre construction
A Memorandum of Understanding was formally signed between the Lufwanyama-based mine and the Zambian government, giving the go-ahead to commence construction of this much-needed facility.
The vocational training centre – to be funded to the tune of USD 2.5m by Kagem Mining Limited – will galvanise the local community in this part of Zambia, providing young people with the necessary skills to support themselves professionally, and training up an able workforce to fill vital roles in the region.
The Chapula VTC’s curriculum is being designed, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Technology and Science and Ministry of Agriculture, to meet the demands of the local area. Amongst the modules expected to be offered are carpentry, plumbing, computing and IT, and heavy earth moving machinery.
The Zambian Minister of Agriculture, the Hon. Reuben Mtolo Phiri MP, spoke at the Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony in Lusaka, on 27 September. He expressed his hopes that the VTC will have a positive, transformative effect on the prospects of young people in the local community and “ensure that our citizens, especially the youth, are empowered with practical life skills”.
Also speaking at the event, the Minister of Technology and Science, the Hon. Felix Mutati MP, described this as a perfect example of a public-private partnership and of the power of spreading digital knowledge. “Let us empower future change-makers, who are going to walk a different path enabled by technology,” he said.
The Chapula VTC will be built close to the Chapula Secondary School, which was funded by Kagem in 2016. The land was made available by the Centre for Horticultural Training under the Ministry of Agriculture. This project is another example of Kagem Mining’s commitment to ensuring that coloured gemstone profits circle back to enhance the quality of life of people in local communities and to supporting regional and national economic development in its host country, Zambia.
Dr Wesley Chishimba, Kagem’s head of human resources, lamented the issue of unemployment in the area, and expressed his hope that this venture will improve the situation. “We are hopeful that by setting up the Chapula Vocational Training Centre, our young people will feel empowered through gaining relevant and useful skills that will enable them to pursue the job opportunities of their choice. We see the VTC as being instrumental in fostering the growth of the private sector,” he said.
Once the construction project is completed, the Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA) will take over the running of the VTC and set about training – and transforming the lives of – young men and women in the local area.