Students from Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria and South Africa have all come out as top scorers of the 2020 Huawei Sub-Saharan Africa ICT Competition attended by high-ranking government officials, industry leaders and students. The Awards Ceremony was held online on October 29, 2020 with participants ready to compete in November’s Global Finals.
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 the Huawei ICT Competition which has the biggest attendance so far.
Mr. Hou Tao, Global Vice President of Huawei, touched on the impressive enthusiasm of students, which is much needed for Africa’s digital inclusion. “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 the ICT talent pool, strengthening capacity building and increasing people’s digital competence. “ he said.
The Huawei ICT Competition has become one of the biggest event of its kind in Africa after undergoing an intensive 5 year development in Africa. The competition covers latest technologies such as cloud computing, AI, mobile networks and big data, that are pertinent to students’ competitiveness in the job market.
South African Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Dr. Blade Nzimande, commented on his country’s goal of “repositioning to not just being consumer of knowledge but also producers of knowledge and new innovation,” he further 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.”
Dr. Blade Nzimande also pointed out that, South Africa and Africa as a whole will need to actively collaborate both internally and externally in order to remain competitive as a result of the globalized nature of the economy and their rapid adaptation to digital transformation. He said his outfit, “looks forward to a Huawei alignment for a broader national collaboration.”
Over the past five years, Huawei has signed 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, Permanent Secretary, Ugandan Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and National Guidance said, ICT can surely bring about a substantial increase in productivity to address the country’s most urgent needs, with the development of human capital being extremely important. He therefore applauded Huawei for its contribution in strengthening Uganda’s capacity towards the ICT competition and training.
Mr. Darius Mogaka Ogutu, Director of University Education and Research at Kenya’s Ministry of Education, spoke highly of Huawei in terms of the collaborations made in the private sector and with universities. He also commended Huawei for the impact it has made with its talent strategy which has enabled thousands of students across the region learn and acquire practical ICT knowledge and skills.
On behalf of the university instructors, Prof. Funso Falade, President of 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, and the era we now require a lot of expertise, due to the disruption the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to our educational system in Africa.” he added.
From November 6 to 8, the 13 Sub-Saharan African teams will attend the Global Final online. Young ICT students from Africa will be given the platform to demonstrate their talent and innovation, and compete on behalf of their countries and continent with more than 300 peers