By Laura Miranyi
Africa’s quest for accelerated growth and sustainable development can only be achieved through a radical economic transformation.
Technical and Vocational Training institutions have majorly played a key role in promoting economic growth and narrowing existing technical skills gap. The Kisumu National Polytechnic in Kanya (the Regional Flagship TVET Institute for Textile Technology – RFTITT) successfully organized and ran the 1st International Multi-disciplinary and Skills Competition.
The Skills Competition included the RFTITT’s innovation hub centers that promote student-led initiatives that promote student enterprises in textile and other disciplines.
The conference centered on knowledge and innovation as indispensable components for regional integration, job creation, competency, and resilience.
The RFTITT supported student-led projects on: (1) Textile Recycling – a process of recovering fiber yarns from fabric and reproducing textile materials into useful products. Their sources of textile wastes include cutoffs, plastic bags, cartons, disposable plastics, old jeans, sacks and newspapers. These wastes are then processed into fine products such as baby duvets, floor coverings wall hangings, shirts, and dresses. (2) The other innovation displayed was on emerging designs and trending fashions among youths. The student designers showcased their innovative designs and will receive further support from the Center to actualize the innovations.
The RFTITT is keen on environmental and health safeguards and as such requires the student innovators to embrace the use of natural dyes such as turmeric. The turmeric, in powdered form, when mixed with water, salt, and vinegar has a lasting effect on the fabric.
All these efforts have been made possible out of the entrepreneurial culture that has been inculcated on the students over time.
The Writer is a Communication Officer at The Kisumu National Polytechnic College