Huawei Kenya kicked off the seventh cohort of students participating in the global Seeds for the Future program virtually.
The flagship program started globally in 2008 and has benefitted almost 200 students in Kenya since 2014.
The ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru, and Ambassador Zhou Pingjian gave keynote speeches to the students and commended Huawei for the highly relevant content, contribution to developing ICT talent and supporting the development of Kenya’s Digital Economy.
The program aims to develop skilled, local ICT talent and bridge communication between countries and cultures.
This year’s program will be held virtually for the first time providing a five-day intensive training with more than 20 mandatory and elective courses offering 60 participants from around the country training in technology fields, including 5G, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing to empower students to understand the latest technology trends to equip them in today’s job market.
At the launch event, Huawei Kenya CEO Mr. Will Meng stated that they believe that talent is the key to success hence their investment in supporting Kenyan ICT talent which will not only drive the ICT industry but power every other industry. “We hope these students will go on to play a significant role in this wonderful country’s development, and drive forwards the Digital Economy”.
According to the recently released draft Digital Economy Strategy for Kenya, Digital Skills are a critical part of the country’s efforts to grow the digital economy. Across the ICT ecosystem there is an urgent need for large numbers of technical staff who can address the challenges posed by this transformation and help the country take advantage of new technologies. The Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs has worked closely with Huawei for several years to implement the Seeds for the Future program as well as other initiatives related to digital skills.
The Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, Mr. Zhou Pingjian expressed his desire for more collaboration between Kenya and China. “We look forward to the participation in this Global Initiative [on Data Security, announced last week] of national governments, international organizations and all other stakeholders. We welcome all the countries to step up communication and coordination, build up mutual trust and deepen cooperation with one another and build a community with a shared future in the digital world.”
21 of the 60 students who qualified for the course were from JKUAT. Professor Victoria Wambui Ngumi, Vice Chancellor, JKUAT, joined the ceremony speaking about her pride in her students. She said that JKUAT is keen and committed to establishing strategic university industry collaboration which are beneficial to their students, staff and the country at large. “This is why we signed an MoU with Huawei in September 2018 to become a Huawei ICT Academy and renewed this year in May this year in order to continue the active collaboration we have together. This program is particularly important and relevant during this time when the entire world is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic”.
Seeds for the Future seeks to develop local ICT talent, enhance knowledge transfer, promote a greater understanding of and interest in the technology sector, and encourage regional participation in Kenya’s growing digital community.