Three Kenyan teams that excelled at the Huawei ICT Competition Global Finals were awarded various prizes Tuesday at an event officiated by the Principal Secretary of the State Department for University Education and Research in the Ministry of Education, Amb. Simon Nabukwesi.
In addition to the medals and certificates, the winners also received variety of Huawei products and Huawei exam voucher as rewards.
During the awarding ceremony, Ambassador 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.
“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”. He commented
Huawei has and continues to invest heavily in nurturing local ICT talent to compete equally with counterparts from across the globe. This, is in addition to growing the local ICT talent ecosystem, strengthening capacity building and increasing people’s digital competence.
As a result, 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.
“Huawei has played an important 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”. He said
Prof. Joseph Rotich, Vice Chancellor or Laikipia University, applauded Huawei’s efforts in training students: “we are proud to be associated with Huawei and are in the process of enhancing this collaboration; we thank Huawei for providing technology which will assist in improving teaching and learning”.
Studies have shown that practical applications and experiences in learning have attributed to the overall improved performance amongst learners.
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% a year and reduce poverty by 1% in Sub-Saharan Africa”.
Commenting on the partnership between the UNESCO regional office with Huawei that began in 2019 to collaborate on enhancing digital skills, he disclosed that “we identified Huawei as one of our strategic partners and we thank Huawei for your continuous and strong support to UNESCO’s programs in building capacities and achieving Sustainable Development Goals in Africa.”
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.
The Innovation Competition contents included knowledge of Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, and Big Data with the aim to examine the innovative design and collaborative development capabilities of the participants.
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.