By Philip Clement
A total of 50,000 students drawn from 14 African countries will be competing for the final of Huawei’s global ICT competition aimed at boosting their capacity in applying technology to solve problems.
The Sub-Sahara African final has this year’s theme as “Connection, Glory, Future”, is also aimed at encouraging young minds to embrace technology in day today activities and have a solution-based approach in different fields of endeavours.
Globally the Huawei ICT Competition 2019-2020 has 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 into the largest ICT skills competition in Africa.
During the opening ceremony attended by 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 widening under the new normal caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
As people migrate 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 upskilling ICT professionals, encouraging and enabling ICT students, and promote ICT literacy among ordinary people,” Liao added.
“This training has been of great significance for the students. I began the race for the Huawei ICT competition in August 2019 while observing my internship at A.B.U. Zaria,” says Atabol Hamza Adenoi, a student from Nigeria.
He further stated that he was trained ahead of the competition’s exam and shortly after, granted the opportunity to do an internship at the Huawei Nigeria headquarters in Abuja.
Also speaking during the opening ceremony, Ydo Yao, acting Director of UNESCO International Bureau of Education, applauded Huawei for playing an exemplary role to support initiatives that create, innovate and deliver ICT skills for the continent.