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60 students shortlisted for Global IT Competition

At least 60 university students across the country have been shortlisted to join global teams that will compete at the 2021 Huawei Virtual Seeds for the Future program competition, to be held at the end of this year in China.

Among those who successfully concluded Program this week, included a group comprising 10 students who won the Tech4Good project that was selected by a panel of judges.

This group whose project is ‘Sign IT Recognition Tool’ aims to solve the communication gap between signers and non-signers, especially during online meetings.

The project uses machine learning, to create a tool that recognises sign language and translates it into text and vice versa.

This tool at the concept stage, will be integrated to online meeting platforms, to help people using sign language, to participate in online meetings.

The Tech4Good project was introduced alongside the one-week training program, to challenge participants to examine how to leverage technology, to address the country’s most pressing social and environmental issues.

It will also encourage students to increase their social entrepreneurship, problem solving and leadership skills, through team work with students from many different countries.

During her keynote address, Kenyan Ambassador to China, Amb.  Sarah Serem, lauded Huawei as one of the institutions that has made tremendous contributions to the development of the telecoms industry in Kenya while focusing on youth development.

Kenyan Ambassador to China, Amb.  Sarah Serem in a virtual conference. Photo by Hamdi Mohamud

“Huawei is contributing to technology programs where the youth accumulate ICT knowledge and expertise, that fits into the government’s goals, thereby, developing its human resource,” said Serem.

The eight-day training program, involved live-streamed sessions as well as pre-recorded courses accessible via Huawei’s online platform, students also had access to presentations on tech trends in key industries by Kenyan industry experts, entrepreneurship courses and undertook the Tech4Good group project.

In her remarks, Huawei Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Fiona Pan, said ICT is a crucial growth engine for different industries and assured of Huawei’s commitment, to promote the development of ICT in the countries where it operates.

“We continuously seek to close the gap between knowledge learned in the school and industry skills to enhance knowledge transfer and build ICT capacity,” said Pan.

The 2021 cohort have completed training on cutting-edge technology, including 5G, cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT), whilst exploring virtually the Huawei exhibition halls.

Additionally, the students have had the opportunity to collaborate virtually with their fellow counterparts from Qatar and interact with experts from various industries, through virtual lectures designed to complement their current knowledge and learn more about Chinese culture and Chinese historical sites.

“I was able to understand how 5G, Cloud computing, blockchain, AI and IOT are revolutionizing the world,” said Judy Achieng’, one of the beneficiaries of this year’s program from Multi Media University, pursuing BSc. Electrical and Telecommunication Engineering.

Over the years, Huawei has contributed significantly to building the ICT talent pipeline within the country.

With the growth of technology, there needs to be ready and available talent to operate and maintain the ICT infrastructure present.

In addition to the Seeds for the Future Program, Huawei has also signed partnerships with over 51 institutions of higher learning, to become Huawei ICT Academies, thereby, enabling their lecturers to offer courses on various emerging technologies including Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence, and Internet of Things among others.

The Seeds for the Future program is Huawei’s global flagship Corporate Social Responsibility program, which aims to nurture young ICT professionals in countries where Huawei operates.

By Hamdi Mohamud

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