Huawei Kenya on Wednesday evening awarded 11 top students who have emerged as the national winners of the 2018 Global ICT Competition Skills Competition. Six of the winners from Jomo Kenyatta University of Technology (JKUAT), Meru University, University of Nairobi and Zetech University are now slated to attend the competition’s regional round to be held in South Africa at the end of the month. If they succeed, they will head to China on a fully sponsored trip for the global finals that will involve candidates from over 50 countries.
The competition, launched in July this year, saw more than 4,000 IT students register at the preliminary stages from 40 universities across the country. Of these, 600 were selected for training after a competitive selection process after which the top 100 then underwent further coaching at a boot camp session before sitting for the nationwide exams.
Speaking at the award ceremony, Mr. Li Xuhang, Charge d’Affaires, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Kenya praised Kenyan students for participating in the contest to enhance and grow their ICT skills. He urged Kenyan ICT students to leverage on ICT to create miracles just like what Huawei and Alibaba have achieved in China and across the globe. “To empower the youth is to empower the whole nation and that explains what Huawei is celebrating tonight, to build human capacities. I encourage all the young students to grasp opportunities presented by innovative technologies such as ICT to nurture home grown global companies in Kenya. I also wish that they become ambassadors of friendly relations between Kenya and China, as the two countries are set to mark their 55th anniversary of diplomatic ties in December this year,” he said.
This is the first time the ICT competition is being held in this region. Launched in 2015, the competition invites ICT students from all over the world to test their ICT capabilities, and provides a platform for the exchange of skills and experiences. The competition has since then seen an increase in the number of participants, which has seen it become one of the largest competitions and platforms in the ICT sector.
“Huawei has demonstrated its commitment to leading digital transformation in Kenya through investing in young people by empowering them with the necessary knowledge and providing them with platforms and opportunities to sharpen their IT skills” said Mr. Jerome Ochieng, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of ICT. “We continue to work together with partners like Huawei to leverage technologies as catalyzing powers of the Big Four Agenda, such as precision agriculture for food security, smart and technologically ready homes for affordable housing, and connected hospitals for universal healthcare,” he added.
The Huawei ICT competition is a platform that is oriented to Huawei Authorized Information and Network Academy (HAINA), a certified program that provides the latest technical training and certifications to students through training lecturers on Huawei Certified Network Associate – Routing and Switching (HCNA-R&S).
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Alfred Cheruiyot, Principal Secretary at the Ministry of Education congratulated the students on their achievement and challenged them to fly the Kenyan flag high at the Regionals in Cape Town. “We are proud of these young people, who beat thousands of other applicants, and believe they will do great and represent us at the global stage in China”. In addition, he commended Huawei on its continued investment in the education sector by bridging the gap between what’s learnt at universities and what’s required in the job market.
Kennedy Muthaura from Zetech University emerged as the champion of the national final and received a Huawei Matebook laptop as a prize for his excellent performance. He is joined by five other top students from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Meru University and University of Nairobi to be heading to South Africa for the Regional Finals.
Huawei Kenya and a number of the company’s partners such as Redington, Sybl Limited, Next Technologies, Smoothtel, Express Auto, Computech and Atlancis have offered internships to the excellent achievers of the competition. Huawei continues to lead the pack in the telecommunication industry through cutting edge innovations, strategic partnerships and skills transfer through its innovative programs such as this.
The 2018 ICT Competition has been launched in more than 10 sub-Saharan Africa countries, including South Africa, Nigeria Kenya and Zambia. Under the slogan of “Connection, Glory, Future,” this event has attracted more than 20,000 participants. This figure has increased dramatically from 1,000 in 2017.
This program is just one of many that Huawei has focused on nurturing young ICT skills talents to address skill shortages, stimulate employment, and support the country’s digital transformation. Other initiatives include the Digital Literacy initiative for rural citizens getting broadband for the first time, Digital skills for life (DSL) program for four-four leavers, Seeds for the Future program for undergraduates, Graduate Training program, and support for the Presidential Digital Talent program (PDTP). In September 2018 Huawei Kenya released its first ever sustainability report themed “Kuwa Nawe, Kua Nawe”; “Being with You, Growing with You “emphasizing on its ongoing, long-term commitment and support to helping the country and the people of Kenya develop and grow through its innovative ICT solutions across various sectors .
The report can be found on https://www.huawei.com/minisite/explorekenya/pdf/huawei_kenya_csd_report.pdf