Local students receive ICT training as Huawei course begins

Communication Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni is accompanied by the 2021 cohort of the Seeds for the Future program.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the deployment and adoption of ICTs, especially those seen as technologies of the future.

The challenge with this acceleration, however, is that it requires a faster pace of skills development, Communications Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said.

Ntshavheni was speaking at the launch of the Seeds for the Future 2021 ICT training program at the Huawei SA campus in Woodmead, Johannesburg, where she encouraged the acceleration of efforts to train local talent in digital skills.

“The Seeds for the Future program, which has so far trained more than 90 students, must rapidly increase the number of students it trains per year.

“The hybrid education model that Huawei has adopted for this year offers an opportunity to increase the number of students who can be trained in a year.”

For Ntshavheni, Seeds for the Future is an important vehicle for bridging the digital divide.

Amid the scourge of unemployment in South Africa, especially among the country’s youth, the government has prioritized programs that will create employment opportunities and strengthen digital skills and digital capacity.

Seeds for the Future is Huawei’s global social responsibility initiative. In South Africa, Huawei partnered with the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies in 2016 to locally roll out the ICT training program.

University students with ICT-related majors – including computer science, electronic sciences, computer science, software and engineering – are selected from various higher education institutions in South Africa.

During the training, participating students learn about technologies such as 5G, cloud, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, and are also introduced to Chinese culture and language, in order to foster cross-cultural understanding. .

Between 2016 and 2019, 40 students (half of whom are women) traveled to China for the annual program, and 50% of graduates joined the ICT industry.

In 2020, due to the closure of the global pandemic, the course was conducted online and Huawei was able to increase the number of applicants to 50.

This year’s admission is comprised of 12 applicants, and Huawei has enhanced the course to provide a blended approach to online and offline learning. This year’s program will also aim to get students thinking about how to use technology to solve social and environmental issues as part of Huawei’s Tech4Good program.

“The technologies behind the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) can be quite difficult to understand,” said Spawn Fan, CEO of Huawei South Africa. “But as long as we continue to learn, it won’t be a problem. “

According to Fan, if SA is to take advantage of emerging 4IR technologies, it needs people with the skills and leadership to use them properly.

“We want to encourage and develop a sense of social responsibility and foster innovation among our young people. We want them to think about how to use technology to solve complex global problems, like climate change, for example. “

Chinese Ambassador to South Africa Chen Xiaodong added, “The world is witnessing a new generation of digital technology, which is bringing new changes to society and industry.

“During COVID-19, the digital economy had become a major driver of the global economic recovery. According to the World Bank, the digital economy represents 15% of global GDP, while the Chinese digital sector represents 39% of its GDP.

He continued, “We strongly support Huawei by showing social responsibility and engaging in win-win cooperation. China will continue to cooperate with South Africa to advance development with the digital economy at the heart. “

Speaking on the sidelines of the launch, Ntshavheni said, “The launch of Seeds for the Future is quite important as we are entering a digital economy, and it requires different skills.

“The digital economy is not coming, it is already there. Artificial intelligence, 5G spectrum, internet of things, cloud computing and big data are already being used to deploy things.

“The skills they acquire are not normal skills, but skills they can use to develop communities and participate in the sustainable development of our country. “

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