Thanks to Luban Workshop, young African man fulfills his dream

Updated: May 30, 2023 Print
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Students are learning how to drive a train on a simulator in Luban Workshop in Djibouti. LIU HONGJIE/CHINA DAILY

Editor's note:Djibouti is a country located on the west coast of the Gulf of Aden in northeastern Africa. Aisha, a 22-year-old man, was one of the first students that a Chinese reporter met three years ago in Djibouti Luban Workshop, the first of its kind in Africa. In the past three years, the reporter has been thinking about him with concern. This year, Aisha told him he was about to graduate and was expected to become a skilled worker of the Addis Ababa–Djibouti Railway built by Chinese enterprises.

Aisha, a 22-year-old young man born in Djibouti, has a special affection for the long rails. He used to play by the track when he was a child.

He has now been an intern in the rail transport operation and management position at the Nagad Station of the Addis Ababa–Djibouti Railway for more than three months. He said that nothing makes him happier than a dream come true. The Luban Workshop is the most precious gift from China to the youth of Djibouti.

The Djibouti Luban Workshop, jointly built by Tianjin Railway Vocational and Technical College and Tianjin No. 1 Commercial School, was inaugurated in March 2019. At that time, Aisha had just graduated from the Djibouti Business School majoring in electrical engineering.  The 19-year-old was eager to find a job, but he has not been employed by an ideal company until he encountered the Luban Workshop program from China.

During his first trip to the Luban Workshop, Aisha was surprised to see the three-dimensional sand table that truly can reproduce the operation of locomotives on each track of the Addis Ababa–Djibouti 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, Aisha was among the first batch of 24 students in Luban Workshop.

In the past three years, Aisha and his classmates have accumulated knowledge with enthusiasm. "We cherish this hard-won learning opportunity very much, and clearly know that our future lies on the track of the Addis Ababa–Djibouti Railway. "

The person in charge of the Luban Workshop and the principal of the Djibouti Business School felt the sincerity of the Chinese people. China has taken the initiative to share the teaching equipment, digital resources, the EPIP model, characteristic apprenticeship system and vocational skills appraisal system. The students were very happy."

The chief inspector of Djibouti's Ministry of Education said that Djibouti is one of the least developed countries in the world. The Addis Ababa–Djibouti Railway has a vison to become a transportation hub for all parts of Africa. It is the Luban Workshop that filled the gaps in vocational education in Djibouti.

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