By Andrew Irumba
Serena, Kampala: Huawei Uganda, a Chinese ICT company has Monday awarded three students who represented Uganda in the Huawei ICT global Awards competition, Africa stage. The students took the first position and have now qualified to the next stage to represent Africa at the global stage next year. The three are; Doreen Nalwoga, Shaffick Nyanzi and Emannuel Kiguli.
The four-day competitions that kicked off on September 10, 2020, covered over 14 countries in the African region and attracted over 50,000 students from various universities who competed for the prize.
These shall now proceed to the global finals in China to compete at the global level in November.
Ugandan team was represented by two network teams, each comprising of three students, of which one took first position toppling other African countries. The winning team comprised of two students from Muni and another from Lira Universities.
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. The programe was launched in the African region five years ago and has developed into the largest ICT skills competition in Africa.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance and Chief guest Hon. Bagiire Vicent Waiswa commended Huawei for the ICT Competition initiative which mobilizes young Ugandans to build their capacity and skills with a view of making them market-ready.
“I thank Huawei for this initiative that mobilizes Ugandans to build their capacity and skills with a view of making them market-ready. By market-ready, I mean you take these Ugandans and give them the necessary exposure through competition for them to be able to come back home and utilize the skills they have learned. As far as the ministry is concerned, developing human capital is extremely important and we look at initiatives such as these (Huawei ICT Competition) as an avenue that we can utilize to build the capacity of our ICT professionals and therefore build substantial ICT eco-system,” he said.
Bagiire added that with the skills given now he hoped that soon Ugandans would be able to run big ICT firms in Uganda, some of which are currently run by Chinese. “We hope you transfer this knowledge into practical terms and occupy the space at global stage which is currently dominated by China, because you now have the skill,” Bagiire added, which comment attracted extended laughters from the Chinese community attending the ceremony.
In Uganda, the first edition of the Huawei ICT competition started in 2018 with 1300 students from various public universities. In 2019, over 2500 students from Makerere, Kyambogo, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Nkozi, Mbarara, Kabale, Lira, Gulu, Muni, UCU and MUBS universities accessed learning materials free of charge on the Huawei online learning platform in the various courses such as Network and Cloud track. The networking track consists of Router Switch, Security and Wireless Lan while Cloud track consists of Artificial intelligence, Big Data, Cloud Computing and Storage. Students were subjected to preliminary exams, national exams and Regional exams.
Students And Invited Guests During The Ceremony At Serena Hotel. Due To COVID109 Restrictions, Few People Were Invited, Mainly Participants And Media.
Doreen Nalwoga, a computer science student at Lira University and one of the winners expressed her gratitude to the exposure Huawei had accorded to them.“Firstly I would like to thank Huawei-Uganda for having given us an opportunity to increase our exposure, knowledge, skills and experience. We have attained professional certification at no cost, facilitation and Awards. I am personally certified with HCIA Security, HCIA Router and Switch, HCIA WLAN. Am currently finalizing an additional course to be a Huawei Certified Internetwork Professional (HCIP). This means I am capable of designing, implementing and maintaining enterprise networks already,” she said.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, the Managing Director Huawei-Uganda, Gao Fei, said the competition is very relevant to every ICT student and professional because it’s a comprehensive approach of skills development for employment, enhanced productivity and growth.
“We congratulate team Uganda for tremendous success thus far. The Huawei ICT Competition and Academy is a comprehensive approach of skills development for employment, enhanced productivity and growth. Training contents in this program has been aligned with the skills requirements in the job market. That is why we re-dedicate ourselves to working even more closely with universities across the country to better equip students with the next generation of technologies and create the platform for the Ugandan students to demonstrate they are capable of maturing into world-class experts,” said Mr. Gao Fei.
With a series of talent eco-system campaigns in Sub Saharan Africa, including the ICT competition, Huawei hopes to skill up more than 700,000 ICT professionals by 2023.