Gauteng Premier Mr David Makhura joined MEC for Finance and e-Government Ms Nomantu Nkomo Ralehoko in handing out certificates to the top 25 students who completed an online youth ICT Skills Development Program offered by the Gauteng Department of e-Government, in partnership with Huawei, at an awards ceremony on March 10, 2021.
A total of 393 students from five regions in Gauteng, (Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Johannesburg, Westrand and Sedibeng) participated in the training in new technologies like 5G, cloud and AI, to empower them with knowledge and skills as they enter the employment market or aim to further their studies.
ICT skills, encompassing new technologies are amongst competencies that have been identified as essential components for Gauteng’s future economic growth, the provinces readiness for 4IR, and a key requirement for the achievement of the Growing Gauteng Together 2020 (GGT2020) strategy.
Gauteng Premier, David Makura, said: “We are grateful to Huawei for their invaluable partnership with the Gauteng e-Government, which is today bearing fruits and benefitting young people from different communities of our diverse province, this partnership is about the future, to get our province ready for the new economy and new society where information, knowledge and new technologies are disrupting and irreversibly re-ordering economies and societies.”
David Makura also expressed his expectations for the students: “You, as the top achievers, are on your way to rehabilitating your dreams. You are firmly on track. We are equipping you with not only digital skills, but also training you to be creative and develop new products & gadgets for the provincial government.”
MEC for Finance and e-Government Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, expressed that government could not accomplish this task alone hence it roped in partners such as Huawei.
“Their advanced knowledge and expertise play a critical role in addressing the ICT skills challenge faced, specifically in townships and farming communities. In today’s age, people with technology and digital skills are in demand by employers in many sectors throughout the world.”
The MEC told the 25 top achieving students that by excelling in their course work, they had gained skills that would open many doors in their careers, even ones that they had never imagined.
This initiative was created to help you gain these unique skills and qualifications which will serve as a starting point towards your future,” Nkomo-Ralehoko said.
Huawei deputy CEO Kian Chen said that Huawei adopted an ecosystem approach to the challenge of bridging the digital skills gap.
“As a global leader, in technologies like 5G, AI, Cloud, IOT and smartphones, this is an imperative that Huawei takes very seriously. We partner and collaborate with various stakeholders, like the Gauteng Government, to bring ICT education and youth employment closer together.”
He congratulated the students on their achievements and encouraged them to continue in the ICT field which would herald a new era of economic opportunity and has the power to leapfrog economic progress for individuals and society.
Huawei runs several skills initiatives in partnership with business, government, and academia to help build South Africa’s ICT skills base as the country has prioritised ICT as a key economic driver in the digital era, commonly known as the 4th industrial revolution or 4IR.