South Africa students joint global winners of Huawei 2016-2017 ICT Skills contest

A team of three South African students and a team of three Chinese students have beaten off 7,500 contenders worldwide to be named joint best ICT students in the world in the Huawei 2016-2017 ICT Skill Competition held in Shenzhen, China, this weekend. Four teams, from Hunan, Tianjin, Shandong and Hubei provinces came second. Nine teams achieved third place, comprising eight teams from China and one from Russia.

Fumani Shibamu, Themba Sivate and Sidwell Shalang, from Tshwane University of Technology, based out of Pretoria, shared the podium with a local team comprising Jingzhong Mai, Lu Huang, and Jianyu Peng from Guangdong province in China.

(TOP: Maolu Sun, from Huawei’s Enterprise BG Service Department, makes the closing remarks at the awards ceremony. BELOW: The winning teams pose with their certificates).

They were among 96 global ICT student members of the Huawei ICT Academy flown to China for the second successful annual challenge this weekend, after triumphing through successive rounds of global testing last year.

This year’s competition, which was opened by Baoshuai Feng, Huawei Enterprise BG Global Training and Certification Department Director, also included six overseas teams from Russia, Western Europe, Australia, Pakistan, and South Africa, respectively.

Overall 12,000 students across the world registered for the challenge, which was undertaken globally by 7,500. A total of 32 teams, including six overseas teams, sat the eight-hour test that examined their knowledge of routers, switching, security, WLAN, cloud, storage and Big Data. The gruelling 8-hour practical examination tested their knowledge of IP and ICT subjects, and their ability to solve problems as a team.

Third place was won jointly won by Russia’s Peter Redkin, Elizaveta Tishina and Artam Khvan. The Russians shared the accolade with a number of China teams.

The event was held at Huawei’s Shenzhen HQ to highlight the need for a global workforce fit for a connected world. It concluded with a speech by Maolu Sun, from Huawei’s Enterprise BG Service Department, who closed the ceremony.

He said, “Cloud, Big Data and security are becoming very significant issues for enterprises which need to recruit enough ICT talent with the knowledge and skills for such technologies. So far we have trained over 200,000 students to help us meet our goal of 800,000 ICT workers across the world. The problem is there are not enough trained and skilled people across the globe for these jobs, especially at the higher end of the knowledge scale, such as for Huawei’s HCIE, a gold-medal equivalent qualification, the highest standard achievable, for systems integration. Huawei ICT Academy is working to address that imbalance by creating a talent ecosystem that invests in the industry, develops training materials and courses with Universities, and ultimately increases the number of students who can go on to have fulfilling ICT careers across the world.”

The Huawei ICT Academy is part of a number of Huawei’s outreach programmes. Through the ICT Academy, Huawei works with over 200 global colleges and universities, including the University of Reading in the UK, University of Sydney in Australia, University of Alicante in Spain, National University of Computer & Emerging Sciences (FAST-NU) in Pakistan, and University of São Paulo in Brazil City University of Hong Kong, and have trained more than 200,000 students for Huawei Training and Certification up until 2016.