A Luban Workshop, a vocational educational training program initiated by Tianjin’s educational authorities and launched overseas, was inaugurated at the University of Abuja, Abuja, capital of Nigeria, on Friday.
The workshop, the fifth one on the African continent, following Djibouti, Kenya, South Africa and Mali, was set up by Tianjin Sino-German University of Applied Sciences and Tianjin Railway Technical and Vocational College.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony was held online in Tianjin and Abuja.
The workshop is part of the efforts of China setting up 10 Luban Workshops in Africa to provide vocational training to African youth -- under an initiative launched by China in collaboration with African countries during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.
Tianjin Sino-German University of Applied Sciences has helped to establish the workshop in 800 square meters, offering curriculum of the major in electronic and electric engineering with the orientation of communication engineering and the automation of electronic system.
It has set up four laboratories with 71 sets of equipment worth 4.96 million yuan ($723,996) and developed 10 bilingual teaching resources database there.
Tianjin Railway Technical and Vocational College has helped to establish an area of 180 sq m of the workshop, offering curriculum of the majors in machinery engineering with the orientation of locomotive engineering and transportation.
The railway college has set up three laboratories with 132 sets of equipment worth 1.13 million yuan and has developed six bilingual teaching resources database.
It also teamed up with the Nigerian branch under China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation to set up three practice and training laboratories, and one outdoor on-spot training center with an area of 1,600 sq m.
They offer 120 sets of equipment worth 4.63 million yuan.
Cao Xiaohong, vice-mayor of Tianjin, said "We have strong confidence in that the Nigeria Luban Workshop will serve as an important platform for Nigerian youths to improve their vocational skills, a new bridge and novel pattern for Nigeria-China educational cooperation."
"It will become a brand new chapter for Nigeria-China friendship, a strong booster for the economic and social development of Nigeria and even the whole West Africa, and a precious gift for the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Nigeria next year," she said.
Abdul-Rasheed Na'Allah, president of the University of Abuja, said: "The workshop has not only helped the university rank on top of the vocational education training in Nigeria, but also helped it to rank into the world-leading universities."
Echoing him, Zhang Jinguo, vice-president of the Tianjin Sino-German University of Applied Sciences, said the new workshop will boost Sino-Nigerian friendship and promote the traditional Chinese spirits in hard work and dedications to overseas.
Zhao Xueshu, vice-president of the Tianjin Railway Technical and Vocational College, said the workshop is aimed at fostering new leading personnel in Nigerian’s railway transportation sector, which is expected to benefit the sector in West Africa and the whole African continent.
At the heart of the Luban Workshop project is technical training to develop skilled professionals familiar with Chinese technology, products and standards.
The workshop was named after China's great craftsman and inventor Lu Ban, who lived during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC).
He was famous for creating numerous carpentry tools and is revered as China's master craftsman.