TANZANIA students recently joined the famous Sub-Sahara African finals of the Huawei Global Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Competition, whose theme this year was “Connection, Glory, Future.”
Launched in Johannesburg, South Africa the finals kicked off on 10th September, this year with an online opening ceremony that was attended by 14 countries attracting over 50,000 students.
However, last year’s overall joint winners were noted to be some Tanzania and Nigeria students, despite joining the race as new comers.
Commenting on the competition, Tanzania ICT student, Emanuel Chaula, confirmed that their team emerged one of the winners, saying: “We worked hard as a team because we wanted to seize the opportunity to travel to China to compete in the global finals. We really wanted to show that Africa as a continent has potentials, especially Tanzania as an upcoming ICT player, and we wanted to be a part of that growth in our country,” he said.
Globally the Huawei ICT Competition 2019-2020 covered over 70 countries worldwide, with 150 000 contestants from more than 2,000 universities and colleges.
Launched in the region just five years ago, the Huawei ICT Competition has developed to become the largest ICT skills competition in Africa.
During the opening ceremony attended by the industry partners, UNESCO and students, Huawei Southern Africa VP, Liao Yong highlighted the significance of connectivity in the era of social distancing.
“The digital divide is actually widening under the new normal caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. As people migrate and more work and study online, the digitally disadvantaged people are hit harder,” Liao said.
In a recent UNESCO webinar, digital infrastructure was identified among the most prominent challenges facing higher education in Africa.
“Holding the online version of ICT competition during the pandemic has a unique value; it shows that Huawei, as a pioneer in building African digital infrastructure, also takes its talent strategy very seriously
. It encompasses three aspects; digital up-skilling ICT professionals, encouraging and enabling ICT students, and promote ICT literacy among ordinary people,” Liao added.
Huawei has invested heavily in preparation for this event, holding 300 campus roadshows, in 14 Sub-Sahara African countries, with a total of 50,000 students participating. The competition-related training helped over 300 students receive job offers.
Also speaking during the opening ceremony, Ydo Yao, acting Director of UNESCO International Bureau of Education, applauded Huawei for playing an exemplary role in supporting the initiative that creates, innovates and delivers ICT skills for the continent.
In Africa, the partnership between UNESCO and Huawei has been fruitful with many successful projects midwifing the DigiTruck and Huawei ICT Academy among others under the auspices of Huawei’s digital inclusion initiative-TECH4ALL.
With a series of talent ecosystem campaigns in Sub Saharan Africa, including the ICT competition, Huawei hopes to scale up sharing skills in the field to more than 700,000 ICT professionals by 2023.
The aim would be to bridge the ICT talent gap, advance the digital transformation of industries, and bring digital to every person, home and organisation for a fully connected, intelligent world.