In collaboration with the International University of Africa USIU and the German multinational science and technology company Merck, the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), Germany’s National Metrology Institute, joins forces with Kenyan pharmaceutical manufacturers Dawa, Biodeal, Elys, and Regal to establish an educational programme in the East African Country. This programme aims to improve the pharmaceutical manufacturing in Kenya.
In a first cohort, 25 high school students and technical diploma holders have been admitted to the one-year course in October 2022. By combining technical skills with theoretical knowledge, the trainees learn the theory and the practice of manufacturing medicines like granules, syrups, creams, ointments, tablets, and capsules.
The course is double certified by the Kenyan National Qualifications Authority and the German Chamber of Commerce AHK. In the meanwhile, Merck has provided its training materials free of charge. These were translated into English and adapted to local requirements.
The employees of the future are the key
At Merck Darmstadt, apprenticeships and educational programmes are a major element for future talent supply, since 37% of the tariff workforce and 27% of all workforces are former apprentices. Trained pharmaceutical operators are also key to the production of quality-assured health products in other countries, such as Kenya.
The future of the course itself has a good outlook: So far, the course has received very positive feedback and the young Kenyan trainees can all expect to be hired by the participating companies after the programme. While Kenya is preparing the second round of the course, there are plans to expand the programme to Ghana and possibly other African countries, too. At least, a Ghanaian delegation already visited the course in Kenya for benchmarking.
This South-South-North cooperation was initiated to share experiences, challenges and possible solutions. Furthermore, members of the German Cooperation, that consits of the PTB and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), visited Merck to learn about the hands-on experience with the educational programme in Germany.
Images © Christina Foerg-Wimmer