Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Li Jie (2nd R, Front) and permanent secretary of Zambia's Ministry of Communications and Transport Misheck Lungu (2nd L, Front) attend a launch ceremony in Lusaka, Zambia, on Oct. 4, 2019. China's telecommunication giant Huawei on Friday launched the second edition of the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Competition in Lusaka. The ceremony also saw the launch of the Zambia ICT Seeds for the Future 2019 aimed at nurturing young talent in ICT skills. (Xinhua/Peng Lijun)
LUSAKA, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- China's telecommunication giant Huawei on Friday launched the second edition of the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Competition in Lusaka, the Zambian capital.
The competition aims to provide a platform for global ICT talents to showcase their ability, compete and communicate, encouraging ICT-related study and drive the growth of a robust ICT talent ecosystem.
The ceremony also saw the launch of the Zambia ICT Seeds for the Future 2019 aimed at nurturing young talent in ICT skills.
The competition will see over 2,000 contestants from various universities vie for a slot to represent the country during the regional competition to be held in South Africa and later the global competition in China.
During last year's competition, 700 Zambian students participated, with 11 best students being awarded while the top three attended the regional finals in South Africa where Zambia came third.
Li Jie, Chinese Ambassador to Zambia, said during the launch that the launch of the second edition of the competition highlights the development of friendly relations between China and Zambia.
The Chinese envoy hailed the efforts saying that Huawei has not only made outstanding contributions to the development of Zambia's ICT industry and its national economy by boosting ICT infrastructure connecting nearly 100 percent of the Zambia population, but also enhanced ICT skills by skill transfer, education, training and other corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs.
"With the joint efforts of the governments and enterprises of China and Zambia, Zambia will have an army of high-quality ICT talents to help the country realize its ICT vision and strategic program," said Li.
Mutotwe Kafwaya, Zambia's Minister of Communications and Transport, highly commended Huawei Zambia's efforts on ICT talents development and management pointing out that these efforts enhance employability and overall competitiveness of the local ICT work force.
In a speech read for him by the ministry's permanent secretary Misheck Lungu, the Zambian minister said the event will bridge the gap between the industry and academia with respect to skills and competencies on one hand and theory and practice on the other.
According to him, the event will also promote digital competence among students and teachers as a vital skill as well as foster an environment that drives innovation and technology adoption.
The Zambian government, he said, recognizes the critical role ICTs play in the development process hence the massive investment in the ICT sector.
"It is therefore my sincere belief that the Huawei Competition and Zambia ICT Seeds for the Future Programs will serve as an effective platform for corporate leaders and human resources professionals to share insights, knowledge and tools with regard to ICT talent development and management in Zambia" he said.
Yu Yong, the Managing Director of Huawei Zambia noted that ICT skills gap has increasingly become a bottleneck for embracing opportunities in the digital era, as across all industries are poised to grow with rapid advances in emerging technologies, changing the very nature of the jobs.
" It is important to foster an open and sustainable ICT talents ecosystem that involves different stakeholders to equip youths with employable skills and increase competencies relevant in the labor market and to foster an ICT talents pool for national development." said Yu.
According to him, Huawei will send 10 excellent Zambian students to China for ICT Talent Training in 2019 so as to help cultivate local ICT talents and encourage them to actively participate in building a digital community. In the past four years, through this global flagship CSR program, Huawei Zambia has sponsored 40 outstanding students for overseas study.
Huawei Zambia has so far signed up 12 universities across Zambia in establishing ICT academies, where students can access to industrially-recognized certification courses. In addition, the company has also organized together with its business partners several job fairs for over 200 beneficiaries of the ICT academy program and absorbed more than 20 of them.