Work and income are a decisive factor in providing people with prospects. This is particularly true of African countries with young, growing populations. This is where an Africa initiative set up by Knauf International GmbH and DEG – the German Investment section of the KfW will come into play: the plan is to establish a total of eight drywall construction training centres in six African countries – Egypt, Algeria, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania and Tunisia. DEG is co-financing the project with around 2.3 million Euro from funds from the develoPPP.de programme of the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), while Knauf will invest a further 2.8 million Euro.
Knauf, a German family-owned company, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of building materials and construction systems, with production facilities and sales organisations in over 80 countries. The company is already active in the countries where the Africa initiative is set to be established.
Drywall construction training centres in six African countries
“Together with our long-standing partner, Knauf, we will help people undertake training that will give them career prospects in their native country. At the same time, the initiative’s partner countries will gain local skilled labour with qualifications, which will in turn help to develop the construction sector,” explained Christiane Laibach, Chairwoman of DEG’s Management Board.
“Alongside investment in production plants, the construction of training centres underlines Knauf’s long-term, sustained commitment to these countries. Africa will be a strategically interesting region for Knauf over the coming years,” added Alexander Knauf, one of the company's managing partners.
The economy in many African countries is on a growth course, as is the construction sector. However, there is a lack of specialist expertise and well-trained skilled labour. Knauf’s planned training centres will offer a mixture of theoretical and practical training in drywall construction. Modules will be geared towards young people without qualifications, as well as students, construction workers, architects and instructors. Depending on the target group, training content will include, for example, physical, chemical and structural basics, the installation of ceilings and walls, noise and fire protection and industrial health and safety.
Co-financing from develoPPP.de funds
The initiative aims to provide training to 12,000 people within the space of three years and create just under 2,000 jobs, both directly and indirectly.
DEG has already supported a number of Knauf’s investments. Following on from these training centres in Africa, similar initiatives are planned in the Middle East and Latin America, where further drywall construction training centres are set to be established.