Djibouti is a country located on the west coast of the Gulf of Aden in northeastern Africa. Aicha, a 22-year-old young man, was one of students in the first Luban Workshop class whom the reporter met in Djibouti three years ago when interviewing the first Luban Workshop in Africa established by our country. Over the past three years, the reporter has always put an eye on him. When 2023 is approaching, Aicha told reporters from the distant Djibouti that he is about to graduate and is expected to become a skilled worker of the "Tazara-Djibouti Railway in the new era" built by Chinese enterprises, and he is only one step away from his dream.
When Aicha was a child, he often played by the railway, as time went by, Aicha has a special affection for the long track, which carries Aicha's longing for the railway.
It’s been more than three months that Aicha does his internship in the railway traffic operation management position at the Nagat Station of the Yaji Railway. He said that nothing makes him happier than a dream come true. Luban Workshop is the most precious gift from China to the youth of Djibouti.
In 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation to set up 10 Luban workshops in Africa to provide skills training for African youth.
In March 2019, the Djibouti Luban Workshop, jointly built by Tianjin Railway Vocational and Technical College and Tianjin No. 1 Commercial School, was inaugurated. At that time, Aicha had just graduated from the Djibouti Business School majoring in electrical engineering. Due to the financial constraints of his family, the 19-year-old was eager to find a job as soon as possible and achieve financial independence, but he was not able to find one. At that moment, the unemployed young man met "Luban" from China.
Walking into the Luban Workshop for the first time, Aicha was stunned after seeing the three-dimensional sand table that truly reproduced the running conditions of the locomotives on each track of the Yaji Railway. "At that time, although I couldn't even pronounce the word 'Luban' correctly, I knew that this was the closest place to my dream." After several selections, Aicha became one of the first batch 24 professional railway students in Luban Workshop.
Public elementary courses, vocational theory courses, professional core courses, practical training skills courses... In the past three years, Aicha and his classmates have been studying eagerly in the modern Luban workshop, "We cherish this hard-won learning opportunity very much, and understand that our future lies on the track of Yaji Railway.”
The destiny of youth is closely linked with the times. The Luban Workshop from China has laid a long track for African youth to build and realize their dreams.
Up to now, Luban Workshop, a Chinese-foreign humanity and cultural exchange brand originally created and first practiced by the Tianjin Vocational Education Department, has landed and rooted in 11 African countries. The vocational education achievements from Tianjin traveled across the ocean and arrived at the shore of the Red Sea. More and more young Africans, because of the academic education and vocational training provided by Luban Workshop, have obtained new employment opportunities, changed their life trajectory, and realized their long-term dreams along this new direction.
Adel Elsabagh, a teacher of mechanical engineering at Ain Shams University in Egypt, is a friend of the reporter who interviewed the Luban workshop in Egypt. He told the reporter by video that he saw the most advanced equipment in the world in the Luban workshop. "I have participated in technical training organized by European organizations. Those trainings are more theoretical. The Luban Workshop from Tianjin, China, through innovative engineering practice projects, achieves both theoretical and practical skills. The technology provided here is exactly what the Egypt's industry demands very much. China's educational philosophy is as advanced as these devices," said Adel Elsabagh.
In the past three years, Abdi, the person in charge of the Djibouti Luban Workshop and the principal of the Djibouti Business School, felt the sincerity of the Chinese people the most. The teaching model, the apprenticeship system with Chinese characteristics, and China’s vocational skill appraisal system, all of which China has taken the initiative to share with us, our students are very happy, and Luban Workshop is creating a new future for African youth.”
"The future of Djibouti's railways lies in the hands of these young people."
The chief inspector of Djibouti's Ministry of Education, Mahdi, highly recognized China's Luban Workshop. He said that Djibouti is one of the least developed countries in the world. The vision of Djibouti's railway development is to become a transportation hub between East and West Africa, and North and South Africa. The railway majors offered by Luban Workshop have filled the gaps in vocational education in Gibbs. "Ten years ago, China built the Yajibouti Railway for us. In these ten years, China has trained railway professional and technical personnel for us. The Luban Workshop is not only very important to the youth of Djibouti, but also to the Djibouti railway industry, and even to the development of the entire Djibouti." Mahdi said.
Aicha in the distance, we bless you, go to the long track and go forward!