by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG – MORE than 2 700 students and lecturers have participated in the Huawei ICT (information and communications technology) certification training and more than 2 100 scholars obtained Huawei certificates, as part of a drive to address the skills shortages in South Africa.
To date, more than 72 academic institutions have enrolled in the programme across all nine provinces.
Huawei disclosed the figures as it kicked off the programme for its 2023 ICT Academy at its Johannesburg campus.
At the event, it honoured the winners of the South African iteration of its annual Huawei ICT Competition.
The 2022 – 2023 ICT Competition is a talent exchange event developed by Huawei for global college and university students.
More than 5 000 students from South African tertiary institutions enrolled in the competition, with the top 53 students awarded during the ceremony.
The national finalists come from some of South Africa’s top universities such as the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), University of Johannesburg (UJ), University of Kwa Zulu Natal (UKZN), University of Pretoria, Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), Rhodes University, and more.
Others come from leading colleges such as Goldfields, Capricon, and Maluti TVET colleges.
The ICT Competition is one of a series of initiatives developed by Huawei with the aim of growing South Africa’s technology skills base.
“In 2022, we made really good progress,” said Shawn Huxiaotong, Service and Delivery and Talent Ecosystem Director of Huawei Enterprise South Africa.
Huawei seeks to build on the success of the 2022-2023 ICT Competition by adding to the number of certified instructors, so that it has at least one per academy.
It also wants to ensure that there are at least 120 students participating at each academy and 100 students per academy participating in the ICT Competition.
Huawei announced a number of incentives – including training and discounts on equipment – for instructors and students alike.
“It is important that we take a brief moment to look back at the achievements of last year and also look forward to producing better results over the remainder of this year,” Huxiatong said.
The tertiary institutions lauded the programme.
“I would like to acknowledge the specific impact of the Huawei ICT Competition on the University of Limpopo,” said Prof. Velempini Mthulisi, who coordinated the programme at that institution.
“This is an innovative programme which upskills our students, as well as giving them the experience of being in a competitive space and working under pressure.”
Golden Mthimunye, who walked away with a Top Achiever award in the Networking category, said, “Looking back, I would’ve never imagined that what started as a simple interaction with Huawei at Wits during a career fair would turn out to be perhaps the single most important interaction I would have in probably my entire academic career.”
Neo Onica Matsobane, a Masters student at Wits, walked away with a Top Achiever award in the Cloud track.
“Through the Huawei ICT Competition, I was provided with a platform to compete in a healthy exchange of ideas, thus enhancing my theoretical and practical ICT knowledge, as well as increasing my ability to innovate by using new technologies and platforms,” Matsobane said.
– CAJ News