LUSAKA, April 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese telecom giant Huawei on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding with Zambia's biggest public university for an Information Communication Technology (ICT) development program aimed at boosting knowledge in learners.
The Chinese firm signed the deal with the University of Zambia (UNZA) for the establishment of a Huawei Authorized Network Academy and Practice Center at the learning institution situated in Lusaka, the country's capital.
Thomas Hu, the company's country director, said the program includes the provision of wireless, transmission, optical fiber access and solar power courses and equipment from Huawei as well as a laboratory to allow students to get hands-on practices.
The program, he said, will enhance the empowerment and skill transfer of the ICT talents in Zambia.
Under the program, Huawei has spent 350,000 U.S. dollars to establish the academy and center while 12 ICT lecturers have been trained.
The company, he said, intends to set up a 17,500-dollar scholarship for top five students at the university to further their studies.
According to him, the massive investment in ICT development over the years requires catching up of human resources development.
Felix Phiri, Permanent Secretary in Charge of Special Duties at Cabinet Office, commended the company for the initiative, saying it will provide an opportunity to many students to attain Huawei ICT certification as well as equip them with ICT skills.
He said most of the learning institutions in the country lacked modern and advanced technological equipment to train skilled graduates for the industry.
"All too often, the private sector bemoans the lack of real-world class skills of those coming out of institutions of higher learning, complaining that young graduates do not have the hands-on experience necessary to apply themselves on the job," he said.
According to the agreement, the academy will be run by Huawei in collaboration with UNZA for three years and thereafter it will be handed over to the university.