The State Minister for Higher Education Dr. John Chrysestom Muyingo this morning at the Kampala Serena Hotel officially launched the 2021/22 edition of the Huawei ICT Competition while he lauded Huawei for working with the Ugandan government to promote the delivery of quality education through ICT.
At the launch of the event in attendance were Prime Minister Robinah Nabanjja, Third Deputy Prime Minister Lukia Nakadama, Minister for ICT and National Guidance; Chris Baryomunsi, and representatives from Huawei Technologies, to mention a few.
While speaking to journalists, Dr. Muyingo noted that as a government they believe that the skills that are being imparted through Huawei’s programs such as the ICT Academy, ICT Competition, and Seeds for the Future are relevant to the country’s 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,” remarked Dr. Muyingo.
He further noted that the government has actively patterned in the Huawei for the Seeds for the Future program, making it a point to play an active role in the implementation of the digital upskilling initiatives in schools and universities across the country.
Mr. Yang Chen Frank, Huawei Technologies Southern Africa Regional Vice President thanked the government for putting a good and peaceful investment climate that has enabled Huawei to exist in Uganda since 2001.
“We thank the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of ICT for their constant support which has enabled us to achieve not only our vision of bringing digital to every citizen, home, and organization but also train and upskill Ugandan,” said Chen. He further said, “this is the result of aligning our local strategy with national strategies and it is a very important principle that we stick to when it comes to business and skill and knowledge transfer.”
Chen Adding that the government has also put a good and peaceful investment climate that has enabled Huawei to exist in Uganda since 2001.
Chen also thanked the government for creating an enabling environment for digital skill cultivation and ICT talent development. He said under the conducive investment environment, Huawei has been able to achieve milestones including training over 2,000 Ugandan youths, certifying hundreds’ through its 15 ICT academies to date.
With the outbreak of the Covid-19 Pandemic which has disrupted businesses, institutions, and sectors has presented the Education Sector with profound challenges.
“The Covid-19 Pandemic has presented the education 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,” said Muyingo. He says over 15 million learners have been left at home and that the government has been forced to rethink the delivery of education for learners.
“With the broad experience that Huawei has developed over the years, I am confident that our 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,” remarks Muyingo.
The government is committed to upscaling and mainstreaming ICT in the delivery of education as a measure to facilitate continued learning during lockdowns. Muyingo told journalists they have requested the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) to work with universities and allow them to operate through Open Distance Education and Learning.
Meanwhile, 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. Thus, building Uganda’s ICT talent requires partnerships and collaboration that benefit all and reinforce each other to enable even stronger programs in a virtuous cycle.
The Huawei ICT Competition is a key piece of the ICT Academy Rocks Campaign that targets university students globally with the aim to facilitate communication between schools, enterprises, and governments while building a robust talent ecosystem.
The competition challenges students’ ICT knowledge as well as the practical and application skills, and ultimately, inspire innovation with the theme of “connection, glory, future”.
The competition covers technologies like cloud computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, mobile networks, big data, that are pertinent to students’ competitiveness in the job market.
Notably, 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. In Uganda, over 15 universities including; Makerere, Muni, MUBS, Soroti, Kabale, Kyambogo, Nkozi, Mbarara, KIU, and IUIU have agreed to establish these academies.
University cooperation with Huawei has enabled more than thousands of university students to obtain Huawei ICT certification making them better candidates for ICT-related jobs. In Uganda alone as mentioned by Chen, over 2,000 Ugandan have been trained and hundreds’ have been certified.