Two Nigerian teams clinched the grand prizes in the Network and Cloud tracks of the regional finals of this year’s Huawei ICT competition.
The competition, currently in its third year in Nigeria, saw the Nigerian teams take the mantles from the Tanzanian and Kenyan teams.
While the University of Port Harcourt team comprising of Udochi Danielle, Ushuta Anthony and Adebayo S. Oluwafemi won in the networking category, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria’s team comprising of Micah B. Shallom, Yunus Abdullahi and Aliyu Isah won the Cloud category. For the innovation track, Amadu Bello University took third place.
The network and Cloud track competition examine the ICT knowledge, hands-on skills and teamwork exhibited by students. The innovation competition evaluates the innovative capabilities of the students to bring forth sustainable change.
The Huawei ICT regional competition is a talent exchange event developed by Huawei for sub-Saharan undergraduates, to promote the healthy development of the ICT talent ecosystem and support the integration of industry and education.
The regional finals commenced online in February 2022 with over 100 participants from several schools in sub-Saharan Africa. Following the theme of the event titled “Connection, Glory & Future”, this year’s regional final was held online. All candidates who attended the regional final emerged from the Huawei ICT Academy and had the recognised Huawei certification with each candidate participating in only one track; the network track, Cloud track and innovation track.
A 300-level student from Ahmadu Bello University, Shalom Micah, whose team won 1st place in the Cloud track, remarked that the Huawei ICT Competition is one of the biggest competitions in the world which requires a lot of resilience and grit. “The instructors were trained with the sole aim of testing the critical thinking skills, coordination under pressure and [exercises which] test of knowledge over time.”
A 400-level student of the University of Port Harcourt, Adebayo Samuel Oluwafemi, whose team won the grand prize in the network track, stated that the competition holds high prospects, as it exposes candidates to real-world technologies. He applauded Huawei for helping to “bridge the wide gap between academia and organizations, as the knowledge gained goes a long way in [developing] students’ careers”.
In his opening remark at the award ceremony, the Huawei president for the Southern Africa region, Mr. Leo Chen, highlighted the fact that the world is witnessing digitalisation in the African region, with ICT becoming an indispensable part of people’s lives, work, education and achievement.
“According to the World Bank study on digital skills in sub-Saharan Africa, over 230,000,000 jobs in sub-Saharan Africa will require digital skills by 2030. Over the past 2 decades, Huawei has employed over 8,000 people in these regions in ICT, making it one of the top employers in the region. Some of the employees joined Huawei through the Huawei ‘Seed for the Future’ initiative and have become top performers, team leaders and senior managers in their various fields.
“Huawei attaches great importance to developing women in the region by providing different levels of training. We believe in the saying ‘If you educate a man, you educate one individual; if you educate a woman, you educate a society’. More excitedly for us, lots of girls have taken part in the Huawei ICT courses and competitions despite the stereotype in the sector. Huawei will achieve its goal in ICT by [forming] continuous partnerships with domestic and international experts in the ICT field to create an ICT ecosystem where everyone will reap great benefits,” he added.
In her remarks, the director, UNESCO regional office for Southern Africa, Prof. Liden Arthur Brito, congratulated the students and winners of the competition and applauded the academia for training the future leaders who would transform the continent. She appreciated the fact that Huawei empowers teachers on ICT to impact knowledge on the students.
“Huawei empowers people, community and the continent and lack of technologies discriminates and leaves people out of development. Raising the capacity and skills of young South Africans in the different spheres, women, government, employees and the public in general in the transformation is enormously appreciated. I appreciate Huawei’s mobilisation of top key partners to achieve the goal of digitalisation and transformation which is not an easy step. The winners of the competition must consider themselves role models and continue to encourage their fellow students and friends,” she said.
The Huawei Digital Talent Program lead, Mr. Yang Chen, stated that Huawei has been working hard to transfer skills and innovation to more people. One of the best achievements is the Huawei training programme.
“Over 1200 instructors have been trained in the past 3 years having 3,000 courses in 5 catalogues, spanning 5G, AI, IOT, big data and cyber security. For the leadership courses, people now have access to global best practices and case studies in digital economy development, including policy-making and developing strategy,” Chen said.