The Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW) has been approached by the Centre of Excellence for Engineering in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to assist in a substantial training and certification initiative to boost Ethiopia’s welder capacity.
The aim of the collaboration is to develop more than 2 000 qualified and certified welders to the requirements of the International Institute of Welding (IIW) by the end of 2023.
The initial phases of the initiative have been put in place, but are on hold until further notice, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the target of successfully training 500 fully qualified welders through the initiative every year remains on course.
“We have engaged with the Centre of Excellence for Engineering in terms of training the instructors, and then setting up the approved training facilities and required regulatory bodies to accumulate the necessary resources to start the initiative,” says SAIW Certification CEO Herman Potgieter.
He explains that the foundation for the initiative has been laid, which would be reinitiated with the SAIW’s Ethiopian counterparts once Covid-19 restrictions in South Africa are relaxed.
“Authorities based in Addis Ababa have already recruited about 500 candidates for the welding certification, which bodes well for reaching the target set out initially,” he enthuses.
The initiative will subsequently be rolled out to eight other regions in Ethiopia, based on the principle and success of the initiative in Addis Ababa.
“We will assist in developing the curriculum for the first approved training body in Addis Ababa,” he enthuses. Thereafter, the other regions will be incorporated into the initiative, garnering thousands of new students.
SAIW executive director John Tarboton explains that countries such as Ethiopia are looking at industrialising to assuage the effects of Covid-19.
Further, infrastructure, and especially welding on construction projects, is critical to the reignition of South Africa and Africa’s economies.
“For this, we need qualified and competent welders, as well as equipped and certified welding training and testing facilities,” Tarboton concludes.