With national demand growing for highly specialized ICT skills across multiple industries, the future belongs to those who have an understanding of how organizations work and possess ideas with possible solutions to the myriad problems facing Kenya’s economy.
To arrive at this destination, Unesco and Huawei are forging a way for workers in all industries by laying the foundation for a collaborative framework in which information and communication technology skills will be integrated at different professional levels in different sectors to benefit each person with practical knowledge and experience.
Speaking during the national awards ceremony for finalists in the global Huawei ICT competition, Saidou Jallow, the Unesco Chief of Education of Eastern Africa said that for the worker of the future to withstand disruptions in training and to ensure that more women are included in roles that utilize emerging technologies such as cloud computing, machine learning and artificial intelligence, it requires a novel approach that prioritizes market-oriented content.
“It is incumbent on various industry players to include their situational issues in the learning content and thus present the students and tutors with practical knowledge opportunities that enable them to create workable solutions in today’s innovation-hungry economy,” he explained adding that the framework developed in partnership with more than 40 universities and colleges is designed to deepen ICT knowledge for all personnel.
Jerome Ochieng’, the PS, Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, noted that Kenya’s human capital demand will continue to grow as the economy expands.
“The evolving nature of our economy, which now has a large digital component, requires our people to adjust rapidly to the shifting demands for skills and the attendant technologies that are driving this demand,” he added.
During the ceremony, Huawei announced the winners of the 2021-2022 Huawei ICT Competition national finals. The prizes were presented to six National Finalists in addition to six teams comprising of eighteen students that will be proceeding to the regional finalists. Terence Omondi from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and Rush Morgan from the United States International University emerged top in the network and cloud tracks respectively.
“The success of the Huawei ICT Competition can only be attributed to the strong partnership Huawei has built with various institutions of higher learning.” Stated Kevin Wen. “We believe there are strong synergies between us and our academic partners, where we can each bring our own strengths to be partners and together achieve more than we could individually,” he added.
Huawei also presented the team that will be battling on behalf of Kenya at the African competition level. They comprise three teams competing under the Network Track from The University of Nairobi, JKUAT and Machakos University, two teams representing the Cloud track from Kenyatta University and Laikipia University and one team under the Innovation Track from Kenyatta University.
“Partnerships among industry players and between the public and private sectors will ensure talent with different perspectives and skills” stated Professor Jackson Kwanza from JKUAT, continuing: “Huawei has been proactive in its support for training and for its generous support and contribution to Kenya’s ICT space.”
The winning teams will compete at the regional finals with counterparts from across Africa at an online event taking place on 19 February, 2022.
The Huawei ICT Competition is a competitive ICT Talent event developed by Huawei for students globally. With the theme “Connection, Glory, Future”, the competition gathers governments, institutions of higher learning, training institutions, industry enterprises to promote the cultivation, growth and employment of young ICT professionals from universities and colleges thereby helping the ICT talent ecosystem thrive.
Laikipia University, Technical University of Kenya; and University of Nairobi also received the Excellent Academy Award. The award was as a result of their outstanding performance in Huawei Certification training whereby over 400 students received training.