by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG – HUAWEI has this year allocated R7 million (over US$480 000) in bursaries to a select group of university students, as part of efforts to bolster its support of technology talent in South Africa.
The bursaries will benefit 48 students from five universities.
The bursary programme is part of Huawei’s wider ICT Talent Ecosystem, which aims to grow and support ICT skills training and skills transfer in South Africa.
Some students from the University of Pretoria (UP) are the latest beneficiaries.
“We believe that South Africa’s talented young people have the potential to mature into world-class experts,” says Kian Chen, Huawei South Africa Deputy Chief Executive Officer.
“By enhancing industry-academic cooperation, we, as an international ICT company, hope to make our contribution to achieving the country’s development goals.”
In awarding the bursaries, Huawei also underlines the transformative role corporates can play in the local education system.
Huawei aims to address some of the challenges it faced when coming to recruit in South Africa. The programme offers students from disadvantaged backgrounds an opportunity to flourish and accomplish their aspirations and academic goals.
Chen said the ICT sector, especially mobile telecommunications, was a scarce skills sector in South Africa.
“The number of students in ICT related courses is still low and competition for young recruits is fierce,” the executive said.
Prof. Anton Ströh, UP’s Vice-Principal: Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Education, pledged further collaborations with Huawei.
“We also offer huge congratulations to the recipients of the bursaries and wish them well in their studies,” Ströh said.
Prof. Jan Eloff, Deputy Dean: Research and Postgraduate Studies in UP’s Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT), mentioned various fields of research interests that were common to what EBIT does and where on Huawei’s agenda.
“UP has world-class experts focusing on the fourth industrial revolution, microelectronics, computer science, technology innovations, smart cities and smart transport, as well as cyber-security,” Eloff said.
The Huawei and UP partnership has seen hundreds of students participate in 5G training.
UP also partners with Huawei as a certified Huawei ICT Academy, a professionally accredited course.
Students also have an opportunity to participate in Huawei’s online artificial intelligence training programme launched this week.
– CAJ News