KAMPALA – Students from Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria, and South Africa have all come out tops in the Huawei Sub-Saharan Africa ICT Competition. Attended by high-ranking government officials, industry leaders, and students, the Awards Ceremony was held online on Oct 29, 2020. They all move on to compete in November’s Global Final.
The Tanzanian, Ugandan, Nigerian and South African teams stood out from more than 40 African teams during the fierce regional competition. This year, more than 50,000 students from 14 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa participated in Huawei ICT Competition, the biggest attendance so far. The move to online also allowed more students to be part of this event.
Mr. Hou Tao, Global Vice President of Huawei, highlighted the impressive enthusiasm of the students, which is much needed for Africa’s digital inclusion in the era when the gravity of workplace skills is already shifting online. “As a private company serving the African market for over 20 years, Huawei has dedicated itself to and will always remain a trusted partner of governments and academia in building ICT talent pool, strengthening capacity building and increasing people’s digital competence. “ says Mr. Hou.
After five years of development, The Huawei ICT Competition has become one of the biggest events of its kind in Africa. The competition covers the latest technologies such as cloud computing, AI, mobile networks, big data, that are pertinent to students’ competitiveness in the job market.
South African Minister of Higher Education, Science, and Technology, Dr. Blade Nzimande, highlighted his country’s goal of “repositioning to not just being a consumer of knowledge but also to be a producer of knowledge and new innovation,” he emphasized Huawei’s unique contribution to this goal by creating “a highly skilled and globally competitive ICT talent pool for Africa’s development in the era of digitization and the global economy.”
Dr. Blade Nzimande also pointed out South Africa and Africa as a whole will need to actively collaborate both internally and externally in order to remain competitive due to the globalized nature of the economy and the digital transformation, he, therefore “look forward to Huawei alignment with the broader national effort.”
Over the past five years, Huawei has signed cooperation agreements with over 250 universities in 14 Sub-Saharan countries, including South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya. This cooperation has enabled more than 7,000 university students to obtain Huawei ICT certification, which makes them better candidates for ICT-related jobs.
Vincent Waiswa Bagiire, the Permanent Secretary in the Ugandan Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and National Guidance said ICT can surely bring substantial increases in productivity to address the country’s most urgent needs, and the development of human capital is extremely important. He, therefore, applauded Huawei for its contribution in this regard by strengthening Uganda’s capacity building with ICT competition and training.
Mr. Darius Mogaka Ogutu, Director of University Education and Research at Kenya Ministry of Education, speaks highly of Huawei’s role in “a collaboration between private sector and universities, especially when that private sector is one of the world’s leaders in that field,” he also commends the real impact brought by Huawei’s talent strategy for enabling “tens of thousands of other students across the region, by learning and practicing their ICT knowledge and skills through this innovative format.”
Speaking as the representative of the university educators, Prof. Funso Falade, President of the African Engineering Education Association (AEEA) acknowledged Huawei’s constructive role in addressing Africa’s needs during the pandemic. “The skills development opportunities provided by Huawei are in line with AEEA goals and aspirations for our students in a critical area which we now require a lot of expertise in Africa, now more than ever due to the disruption the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to our educational system,” he added.
From November 6 to 8, the 13 Sub-Saharan African teams will attend the Global Final online. Young ICT students from Africa can demonstrate their exceptional talent and innovation, and compete on behalf of their countries and continent with more than 300 peers from around the world.