Zimbabwean students applaud Huawei for nurturing local ICT talent

FILED - Resigning itself to the fact that the US is unlikely to ease its sanctions on Huawei, the Chinese tech giant is opening up a whole new business segment. Photo: Marius Becker/dpa Credit: Marius Becker/dpa

Zimbabwean students who participated in this year’s edition of Huawei’s Seeds for the Future Program have applauded the Chinese ICT giant’s efforts in nurturing local ICT talent and helping close the gap between theory and practice.

The Seeds for the Future program, Huawei’s global flagship Corporate Social Responsibility program, seeks to cultivate digitally resilient young ICT professionals who have the skills needed to be competitive in the 21st century.

This year’s program, which was held virtually from Sept. 13 to 20, offered students a rich experience involving technology classes, leadership classes, Chinese cultural experiences, an international corporate tour and communication with their peers around the world.

In addition, participants also got exposure to industry trends and the latest ICT technologies such as 5G and cloud computing through comprehensive online and live lectures from Huawei experts and external guest lecturers.

Beneficiaries of the program described the hands-on learning experience as an eye-opener that has given them a new ICT perspective.

“From attending this edition, new avenues were opened, horizons were broadened. We learned different technologies that when I go back to school I can implement, and hopefully when I start my project I will be able to use the technologies we learned,” said Tariro Mhiribidi, an ICT major from Arrupe Jesuit University.

“This program has helped me intellectually to improve my skills and to learn and to venture into new sectors of technology like networking through 5G. I am so happy to be here, and I am prepared to share the information that I have learned here with my colleagues back at school and back at home so that we can venture into this cutting edge technology together,” said Tendai Gatahwa, a computer science student from the Midlands State University.

Gatahwa said the hands-on approach of the Seeds for the Future program will go a long way in developing local ICT talent.

“It has helped me in my career since currently I am part of the development team at a start-up company at Midlands State University where we are currently designing a business management app that helps entrepreneurs to manage their businesses and we are currently using the same technologies that we were taught here,” Gatahwa told Xinhua.

Gatahwa said in addition to upgrading their ICT skills, the program also helped students to enhance their leadership skills.

Millicent Sefaidiga, an Information Technology student from the Harare Institute of Technology, said her participation greatly enhanced her skills as she prepares for entering the corporate world.

“I believe that we have learned so many skills inclusive of leadership because at the start of this eight-day program, we were taught to think of solutions that were going to better our communities and better ourselves as individuals.

“Our idea was an intelligent breaker that will manage the use of electricity deficiency because of load-shedding that is happening in our country,” said Sefaidiga.

Tinei Mutasa, an ICT student from Arrupe Jesuit University, said such initiatives should be introduced on a wider scale as they give local students hands-on experience.

“It’s been a wonderful week of my life. Given the fact that some of the technologies that we have been studying were theoretical, but now that we have had a grasp and we have had to rub shoulders with some IT giants who are day by day implementing these technologies, it’s been an eye-opener,” he said.

Mhiribidi said more women should venture into ICT as the world is rapidly moving towards digitization.

“I believe as women we need to take charge and actually get involved. It’s an industry that we can dominate, clearly, so I just advise people to maybe just research a bit and see what they like because it’s a very broad horizon and it’s not just centered in programming,” she said.

Huawei’s Seeds for the Future program dovetails with the Zimbabwean government’s quest to digitize the economy and make technologically driven solutions key drivers for national development. Enditem

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