Promoting young talents in South Africa

There is a lot going on in the start-up center set up by the Kreishandwerkerschaft (KH) together with our South African vocational training partner, uMfolozi College in Richards Bay.

Around 250 young men and women from the field of information and communication technology met there at the invitation of the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies, Youth ITC Council and the start-up company ‘AlgoAtWork Robotics Academy’, which emerged from the start-up center, for the innovation fair of the province of KwaZulu-Natal and for a Makeathon.

The aim of the Makeathon was to get young people excited about innovations, natural sciences and technology, and to find and promote talent. At Makeathon, a development competition, young professionals faced the challenge of developing functional solutions for their industries - in just 24 hours. The participants were competing teams made up of young software developers, mechanics, mechatronic engineers, designers and business developers, among others. Their audience were representatives of the respective industry and those responsible from politics, who get to know the innovators of tomorrow here.

Innovations were presented in the following areas:

  • Security solutions
  • Medical technology
  • Air conditioning
  • Automation solutions in production

Examples of the innovations presented:

  • a conveyor belt that sorts objects by size and color (automation in production)
  • a Covid19 distance radar for bus stations to monitor compliance with the minimum distance (security solution)
  • a white cane with object recognition including audio interface for the user (medical technology)
  • a farm monitoring system for monitoring irrigation and fertilization activities in agriculture (air conditioning)

Our long-term expert in South Africa Oliver Petzoldt, as the host, did not only ensure that the young talents were adequately supplied during the long night of innovations, but also provided materials for the Makeathon with Arduino kits, among other things. Arduino is a platform that should enable everyone to put their own technical ideas into practice. Extensive IT knowledge is usually not necessary for this. On the one hand, the Arduino consists of a circuit board with a microcontroller, i.e. a kind of mini-PC, on the other hand, the Arduino consists of software that can be used to write programs for the mini-PC.

The fact that the innovation fair did not take place in the country's major cities and capitals, as usual, but in our start-up center in Richards Bay - and this even in the presence of Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, is due to our successful work as part of our vocational training partnership or - like  Oliver Petzoldt put it - "because we have 'made a lot of noise' with our startups in the last two years."




In the presence of Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams from the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies, an innovation fair and a Makeathon for young talents took place in the start-up center of the KH's vocational training partner in South Africa.
Oliver Petzoldt, long-term expert at the KH in South Africa, is proud that he was able to host this event.