by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – A CABINET minister has welcomed investments towards unearthing talent to drive South Africa’s growth in the era of digitisation.
Dr Blade Nzimande, the Higher Education Minister, commended Chinese-headquartered firm, Huawei, for the investment.
Huawei South Africa has announced the winning teams and individuals from the local national finals round of its Global ICT Competition at an online awards webinar.
Top honours went to Tshwane University of Technology(TUT) and University of Venda (UNIVEN), who claimed the First to Excellence Prize in the Network and Cloud streams.
Topside Ehleketani Mathonsi (from TUT) and Kudakwashe Madzima (from UNIVEN) also received individual awards for Excellent Instructor for First Half of 2020.
“We are happy to see such vibrant investment in our youth in ICT from a global tech company which understands that industry and academic partnerships are essential to create a highly skilled and globally competitive ICT talent pool for South Africa’s development in the era of digitisation,” Nzimande said.
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.
In South Africa, the competition attracted more than 10 000 students from 25 universities and colleges who competed online this year, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We are proud of these students for the tenacity they showed during a very difficult time, their dedication to being the best among their peers must be acknowledged. We hope that they will persevere to win the Sub-Saharan leg and represent the continent on a global stage,” Nzimande said.
Some 20 students performed outstandingly during the South Africa national round. Twelve students have been chosen to participate in two teams in the Southern Africa regional final with other students from Sub-Saharan African countries.
The winners of regional final will go onto the global final to be held online at the end of October.
Shenbo Tang, Director of Huawei South Africa Enterprise Delivery and Service, said the ICT competition aimed to drive the development of high-quality ICT talent, select qualified talent for the industry, continuously provide future driving forces and active participants for digital transformation and further contribute to a sustainable talent ecosystem.
Tang said Huawei expert engineers trained the students to help them prepare for the regional final, with the aim of ensuring they won and represent Southern Africa in the international final to take place online at the end of October.
Speaking during the awards ceremony, Munashe Magidi, a student from Cape Peninsula University of Technology said the experience taking part in the competition had enlighted him on the role that big companies like Huawei could play in educating and providing resources to students.
“I am looking forward to seeing what else they have in store for the future,” Magidi said.
– CAJ News