The State Minister for Higher Education Dr. John Chrysestom Muyingo officially launched the Huawei ICT Competition 2021- 2022. Launching the third edition of the competitions at Serena Hotel Kampala on Friday, Dr. Muyingo lauded Huawei Technologies for working with the government of Uganda to promote the delivery of quality education through ICT.
“We partnered with Huawei for the Seeds for the Future program and over the years we have always made it a point to play an active role in the implementation of the digital upskilling initiatives in schools and universities across the country,” Minister said.
” The CoronaVirus Pandemic has presented the sector with profound challenges. No one foresaw the coming of this pandemic and the crippling effect it would have on all sectors of the economy including Education. Over 15 million learners have been left at home and we have been forced to rethink the delivery of Education for our learners. With the broad experience that Huawei has developed over the years, I am confident that this partnership can help us to find more innovative solutions to these challenges which we are facing. I call upon you to begin exploring the possibilities for delivery of infrastructure that will bring our education sector up to speed with the dynamic changes and resulting challenges that have been presented by the 21st century,” he added.
Dr. Muyingo further noted that as a government they believe that the skills that are being imparted through programs such as the ICT Academy, ICT Competition, and Seeds for the Future are relevant to our socio-economic development agenda.
” They act as a crucial platform for sharing the latest ICT technologies, enriching students’ work experience and equipping them with relevant skills for the dynamic world of work,” Dr. Muyingo remarked.
“Government is committed to upscaling and mainstreaming ICT in the delivery of Education as a measure to facilitate continued learning during this lockdown. We have requested the National Council for Higher Education to work with our universities and allow them to operate through Open Distance Education and Learning. I request all of us here to come together, share ideas and make this innovation a success even for post lockdown learning.”
At the same function, the Ugandan students who emerged winners in last year’s global Huawei ICT Competition were officially rewarded. At Africa and the global level, the Network team of Uganda took the first position, beating over 34 countries and 107 teams. As a result, the Ugandan team emerged as number one in the 2020 ICT Competitions at the global level.
“I thank Huawei for their commitment and look toward even more partnerships of this kind (ICT Competition). I would like to also congratulate the students who represented Uganda last year at the ICT Competition and raised our flag high by taking the first position globally. This shows that our education sector has not only improved but is now competitive globally and a force to be reckoned with,” Dr. Muyingo added.
On his part, Mr. Yang Chen Frank, the Huawei Technologies Southern Africa Regional Vice President thanked the Government of Uganda for putting a good and peaceful investment climate that has enabled the global ICT service provider to exist in Uganda since 2001.
“More thanks to the Ministry of Education and ICT for their constant support which has enabled us to achieve not only our vision of bringing digital to every person, home, and organization but also train and upskill Ugandans,” Mr. Chen asserted.
He said under the conducive investment environment, Huawei has been able to make some achievements including training over 2000 Ugandan Youths, certifying hundreds through its 15 ICT academies as of today.
“This is the result of aligning our local strategy with national strategies-this is a very important principle that we stick to when it comes to business and skill and knowledge transfer. A big thank you to the Government of Uganda for creating an enabling environment for digital skill cultivation and ICT talent development as the future now depends on various ICT skills,” Mr. Chen said.
” Huawei’s ICT talent cultivation strategy in Uganda is flourishing while being sustainable due to a unique “learn-show-apply” structure, which provides not only training but also a global stage level to show capabilities and various internships and job opportunities to apply their skills. So Building Uganda’s ICT talent pool requires government-industry-university partnerships and collaboration that benefit all and reinforce each other to enable even stronger programs in a virtuous cycle.”
The annual Huawei ICT Competition is a key piece of the ICT Academy Rocks Campaign. It targets university and college students worldwide, aiming to facilitate communication between schools, enterprises, and governments while building a robust talent ecosystem.
Through this competition, Huawei aims to challenge the students’ ICT knowledge as well as the practical and application skills, and ultimately, inspire innovation with the theme of “connection, glory, future”.
After six years of development, The Huawei ICT Competition has become one of the biggest events of its kind in Africa. The competition covers the latest technologies such as cloud computing, AI, mobile networks, big data, that are pertinent to students’ competitiveness in the job market.
Over the years in the African region, Huawei has signed cooperation agreements with over 250 universities in 14 Sub-Saharan countries on establishing Huawei ICT academies. This cooperation has enabled more than 7,000 university students to obtain Huawei ICT certification, which makes them better candidates for ICT-related jobs. In Uganda, over 15 universities have signed which include, Makerere, Muni, MUBS, Soroti, Kabale, Kyambogo, Nkozi, Mbarara, KIU, and IUIU.
Last year, Huawei held its second ICT competition in Uganda and a global ICT company reached out to various universities where over 2500 students registered to take part.
And by the end of the highly competitive event, three University students representing Uganda; Shaffic Nyanzi and Emmanuel Kiguli from Muni and Doreen Nalwoga from Lira University emerged among the world’s best at the Global finals. This was the first time for Uganda to qualify for the global stage after taking the first position at the Africa region final.
The three Ugandan students’ achievement was attributed to Huawei Uganda’s continued recognition and efforts to build a competitive ICT talent pool among the young generation, who will be an indispensable accelerator for Uganda’s post-COVID-19 recovery and digitization.