South African ICT students came out tops in the networking track of the Huawei Sub-Saharan Africa ICT Competition, earning themselves a place in the global final which takes place online from 6-9 November.
Team SA stood out from more than 40 African teams during the fierce regional competition. This year, more than 50,000 students from 14 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa participated in the Huawei ICT Competition, the biggest attendance so far. The move to online also allowed more students to be part of this event.
In South Africa, over 10 000 students from 25 universities and colleges participated in the national competition. Students in the winning SA team are from Tshwane University of Technology and Wits University.
The student’s achievements were honoured at an online awards ceremony attended by
high-ranking government officials and industry leaders from various countries.
South Africa’s Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Dr. Blade Nzimande, who delivered a keynote address at the event, congratulated all the students and praised them for persevering with their studies online, and reaching the level where they will compete globally.
He highlighted the importance for countries to shift from being consumers of knowledge, to being producers of knowledge and new innovation. He emphasized the need to build are high-level accredited skills which includes Masters; PhD’s and other post-doctoral qualification as well as cutting edge and specialised skills in the ICT space including R&D and engineering.
“We look forward to building on the current effort and support from Huawei on programmes that support these requirements including opportunities for South Africans to developed specialised skills, he said.
Hou Tao, Global Vice President of Huawei, commended the student’s enthusiasm during the competition, “This type of commitment is needed for Africa’s digital inclusion in the era when workplace skills are already shifting online. This annual competition is our commitment to governments and academia to build Africa’s ICT talent pool.”
The Huawei ICT Competition covers latest technologies such as cloud computing, AI, mobile networks, big data, that are pertinent to students’ competitiveness in the job market.
Over the past five years, Huawei has signed cooperation agreements with over 250 universities in 14 Sub-Saharan countries, including South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya. This cooperation has enabled more than 7,000 university students obtain Huawei ICT certification, which makes them better candidates for ICT-related jobs.