By Tafadzwa Muranganwa
China’s leading provider of information and communication (ICT) solutions,Huawei,has launched an ICT competition which will see a total 200 students from universities across Zimbabwe participating in the contest with subjects including network, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and big data.
Speaking at the official launch of the contest in Harare on Monday, the Huawei Technologies Zimbabwe managing director Mr Jason Shao said the competition is meant to stimulate digital skills development among youths
“The goal of the initiative is to sensitize the digital skill and encourage ICT studies among youths by providing them with a platform to showcase their ability, compete and communicate, and eventually, drive the growth of a robust ICT talent ecosystem for innovation-driven growth and inclusive development,” said Mr Shao.
The Huawei Technologies Zimbabwe boss also revealed that they have already partnered with some tertiary institutions to further develop ICT talent in this country.
“In order to help students quickly align with industry requirements by mastering the latest ICT technologies while they are still on campus, we also decided to release the Huawei ICT Academy program as the first time in Zimbabwe this year.
“We establish ICT academies in collaboration with global higher education institutions, to develop innovative and application-oriented technical ICT talent for diverse industries,”he added
In his address, minister of Information, Communication Technology and Courier Services, Dr Jenfan Muswere acknowledged the lack of investment in the ICT sector and the assistance of Huawei comes in handy .
“The key challenges facing the ICT sector in Zimbabwe are the low investment in ICT technologies and the lack of a large pool of skilled ICT professionals.
“It is therefore pleasing to note that supporting skills development is one of Huawei’s key priorities for Building an ICT Talent Ecosystem through Seeds for the Future and ICT Competition Programmer in Zimbabwe,” highlighted Dr Muswere.
This was also reiterated by the Prof Paul Mapfumo,the Vice Chancellor of University of Zimbabwe in a speech read on his behalf by Prof Hodson Makurira.
“Zimbabwean students studying in ICT, engineering and other related fields will benefit immensely from the ICT competition we are launching today. Through the Huawei ICT Competition, our students will be provided with a platform to compete and exchange ideas in order to enhance their ICT knowledge, practical and application skills, and raise their innovation awareness.
“The competition is also a platform that facilitates connections between international talent as well as the collaboration between higher education institutions and enterprises, thus promoting the education, growth, and employment of ICT talent,”.
The National ICT Competition 2019-2020 also coincided with the signing the MOU between Huawei Zimbabwe and 6 universities in Zimbabwe namely UZ, Midlands State University (MSU), Arrupe Jesuit University, Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU),Catholic University Zimbabwe and Telone Centre For Learning.