Three Kenyan teams excelled at the Huawei ICT Competition Global Finals, taking home medals and certificates, a variety of Huawei products and Huawei exam vouchers as rewards.
The teams competed under the network and innovation tracks. The Network Track teams were awarded 1st and 3rd place while team Mazingira was awarded 3rd place under the Innovation track as well as their lecturers and tutors.
The 2019-2020 ICT Competition received over 6,400 student applications out of which 100 students proceeded to the national finals, later five teams proceeded to the regional finals and ultimately 3 teams representing Kenya at the global finals.
During the awarding ceremony, Chief Guest, Principal Secretary of the State Department for University Education and Research in the Ministry of Education, Amb. Simon Nabukwesi congratulated the students and lecturers for winning these awards and representing Kenya so well at the international level and thanked Huawei for its tremendous commitment and support to building capacity amongst Kenyan students and institutions in the ICT area that will go a long way to creating jobs and digital solutions.
He commented “The ICT Competition is a unique contribution that the private sector can provide that significantly enhances the quality of our ICT education. We recognize the need for different formats that are practical and hands-on to complement the theory”.
Other key guests in attendance included the University Prof. Joseph Rotich, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor JKUAT Prof. Robert Kinyua Wambui Ngumi, UNESCO’S Head of natural sciences Prof. Jayakumar Ramasamy, Dean of Students University of Nairobi Mr. Johnson Kinyua.
Huawei has partnered with 42 institutions of higher learning including but not limited to the University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University, Laikipia University, Oshwal College, Catholic University and Multi-Media University of Kenya to drive the digital inclusion agenda in its efforts to bridge the digital divide reaching over 5000 students and 100 lectures since 2018.
Mr. Frank Yang, Vice President of Huawei Southern Africa Region noted that synergies with academic partners are key and have contributed to Huawei broadening its areas of collaboration. He said “Huawei has played an important role in the development of ICT Talent in these countries for many years now, and we are seeing the efforts from us as well as from governments and other partners pay off. Investing in education is not only our social responsibility but also our business priority to help grow the ICT sector and to help grow the economies of the countries in which we work”.
Speaking at the ceremony, UNESCO’s Head of natural sciences Jaya Ramasamy emphasized the importance of ICT, noting that “Technology is rapidly changing the employment landscape generating jobs that demand a range of digital skills”.
The World Bank has estimated that digital transformation will increase growth in Africa by 2 percent a year and reduce poverty by 1 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In 2020 the University of Nairobi received the 2020 excellent global talent ecosystem partners’ award due to its broad partnership with Huawei on various capacity building and training programs namely the Huawei ICT competition, Huawei Campus ambassador program, Huawei Management Trainee program, Digitalent career fair among others.
Evans Ngeny, whose team was awarded the 1st prize under the Network Track, noted that the competition has provided great career opportunities and attributed the award to the support provided by various teams including the Huawei fraternity, the ICT Academy and the universities.