Beaven Dhliwayo, Harare Bureau
Information Communication Technology (ICT) giant, Huawei Technologies Zimbabwe, yesterday launched the National ICT Competition 2019-2020 which will provide a platform for tertiary students to compete and exchange ideas in order to enhance their ICT skills.
The Chinese telecoms firm signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the country’s six universities for the first ICT competition in Zimbabwe.
Huawei launched this global ICT competition in 2015, and this is the first year that Zimbabwe has joined the competition which is expected to hone students’ knowledge, practical application skills and raise their innovation awareness.
Speaking at the launch, Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister, Dr Jenfan Muswere hailed the competition, saying it would help to develop ICT skills of local students.
“With the right skills, our people are better prepared for active citizenship, they have a better chance of finding and keeping a decent job and they are better equipped to set up their own business and in turn, create jobs for others,” he said.
“The right skills open doors to new possibilities. With the right talents in the country, our economy is poised to grow faster, creating more and better rewarding jobs.”
Speaking at the same event, Huawei Technologies Zimbabwe managing director, Jason Shao said his company will continue to support the competition and the country’s universities to help build Huawei’s ICT talent eco-system.
“In the near future, we will also start the training students and lecturers so that the students and academy instructor can be certified on Huawei platform,” he said.
“The Huawei ICT Academy is an important part of our ICT talent ecosystem programme. We aim to promote operations and collaboration with higher education institutions and build an international ICT talent exchange platform.
“We believe that holding an influential competition for university students helps encourage better learning, teaching, and development. The competition connects Huawei with the academia, connects education with ICT, and connects university students with enterprises’ talent demand.”
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa urged youths to seize the opportunity and help turn Zimbabwe into an ICT hub that could spur economic development.
“Zimbabwe is lucky to have the Huawei ICT Competition which should play a key role in the national vision of transforming the country into an upper middle income economy by 2030,” she said.
“As a country, we are poised for a seamless integration spurred by the high literacy rates that the country boasts.”
The Huawei ICT competition aims to enhance digital skills and encourage ICT studies among the youths by providing them with a platform to showcase their ability, compete and communicate and eventually, drive the growth of a robust ICT talent ecosystem for innovation-driven growth and inclusive development.
Zimbabwe students will first battle out locally, with winning teams advancing to the Huawei ICT Competition for Southern Africa and then the global level.
The Huawei ICT Competition will serve as an effective platform for corporate leaders and human resources professionals to share insights, knowledge and tools with regard to ICT talent development and management in Zimbabwe.
More than 28 000 students from over 14 African countries are expected to participate in the competition being held under the theme: “Connection, Glory, Future”.
Winning ICT students will get scholarships to study at one of China’s top technology universities.