PMA offering expanded - Next training course already
underway - Separate course for women planned from the fall
The first nine participants have successfully completed
the training course for printers organized by Heidelberger
Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) and the Gesellschaft für
Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ, Society for Technical Cooperation).
The six-month training course is primarily intended for
participants who have little or no knowledge of printing
technology. Having completed the course, participants will be well
prepared for working in one of the approximately 60 printshops in
Afghanistan. The project, which was launched by Heidelberg in
cooperation with the GTZ at drupa 2004 in Dusseldorf, is also
playing a key role in rebuilding the Afghan print industry which is
still largely recovering after the war.
The training course focuses on press operation and the basics
of prepress and postpress. Heidelberg provides trainers from
Germany and Iran and also supplies the equipment and teaching
materials. The GTZ pays a proportion of the costs, pays the
trainees a salary and provides support in the management of the
project. Kabul is now a member of Heidelberg's Print Media
Academy network. The second training course for ten further
trainees is already underway. From the fall, a women-only course
focusing on prepress, graphics and design is planned. This is
especially vital since women often have to provide for their entire
family alone due to the high number of male victims during the war.
The demand for print products in Afghanistan is high. The
most popular products are textbooks and information/teaching
materials for the various aid and development organizations active
in the country. Last but not least, the Afghan government also has
a large requirement for a wide range of print materials. However,
up until now, many jobs were outsourced to printshops in the
surrounding countries such as Iran and Pakistan due to the lack of
expertise and insufficient awareness of quality within the country.
"The Afghan print market requires skilled personnel and
good quality machinery if the value-added chain for the production
of print products is to be kept within the country. With this
training project, Heidelberg and the GTZ have made a vital
contribution in offering young people in Afghanistan the
opportunity to improve the expertise of the domestic print media
industry and keep investment within Afghanistan," said Dr.
Walther Stählin, Head of the EMEA region at Heidelberg, at the
ceremony celebrating the end of the first training course in Kabul.
Heidelberg is the first manufacturer in the print media
industry to offer products and solutions through its own local
organization in Afghanistan. The 300 square meter Kabul training
center is located in the grounds of Heidelberg's Afghanistan
sales office, which was established in April 2003.
Dr. Walther Stählin, Head of the EMEA region at
Heidelberg, Dr. Michael Outschar, Head of Heidelberg's Eastern
Europe Market Center, and representatives of the GTZ present the
young printers with their certificates. In return, the trainees
presented Dr. Stählin with a framed artwork produced on a
Printmaster GTO from Heidelberg. This press is also used for
For further information:
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG
Tel.: +49 (0)6221 92 50 77
Fax: +49 (0)6221 92 50 46