AGENCIES- Huawei Kenya on Wednesday kicked off the seventh cohort of students participating in the global Seeds for the Future program.
The flagship program started globally in 2008 and has benefited almost 200 students in Kenya since 2014.
ICT CS Joe Mucheru and Chinese Ambassador Zhou Pingjian who attended the launch event virtually commended Huawei for its contribution to developing ICT talent and supporting the development of Kenya’s Digital Economy.
“Our government has made tremendous progress in digitization efforts. Recently the first phase of the National Data Center that is situated at the Konza Technopolis has gone online and already some of our government services and data is being hosted there. We commend Huawei technologies for working non-stop to get this project up and running, even during the pandemic-related disruptions. It is a good example of their continuing contribution towards growing Kenya’s digital economy,” said CS Mucheru.
The Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, Mr Zhou Pingjian echoed the CS’ comments on the program, further expressing the importance of the digital economy.
“I’d like to express my warm congratulations to all the participants of this commendable CSR program sponsored by Huawei. China places high importance on the development of digital economy and earnestly promotes international cooperation in this area,” said the Ambassador.
The program aims to develop skilled, local ICT talent and bridge communication between countries and cultures.
By sharing ICT expertise and experiences in the global business environment, young people from different countries can learn about advanced technologies in the ICT industry and accumulate ICT expertise and skills through the Seeds for the Future program, contributing to the progress of the global ICT industry.
This year’s program will be held virtually for the first time providing a 5-day intensive training with more than 20 mandatory and elective courses offering 60 participants from around the country training in technology fields, including 5G, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing to empower students to understand the latest technology trends to equip them in today’s job market.
At the launch event, Huawei Kenya CEO Mr Will Meng stated in his opening remarks: “We truly believe that talent is the key to success. It is why we invest so much in supporting Kenyan ICT talent which will not only drive the ICT industry but power every other industries. We hope these students will go on to play a significant role in this wonderful country’s development, and drive forwards the Digital Economy.”
21 of the 60 students who qualified for the course were from JKUAT. Professor Victoria Wambui Ngumi, Vice Chancellor, JKUAT, joined the ceremony speaking about her pride in her students and the program.
“JKUAT has already worked with Huawei for a number of years on training programs. JKUAT is keen and committed to establishing strategic university industry collaboration which are beneficial to our students, staff and the country at large.
This is why we signed an MoU with Huawei in September 2018 to become a Huawei ICT Academy and renewed this year in May this year in order to continue the active collaboration we have together. This program is particularly important and relevant during this time when the entire world is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.
Lotengan Kelvin Esinyen who joined the program in 2018 and since become a full-time wireless engineer at Huawei Kenya expressed his incredible experience in China.
“It was an impressive experience in my life. We were shown all the state-of-the art equipment and we visited Huawei’s laboratories which was priceless,” he said.
Sylvia Kipkemoi, a student at JKUAT has been selected from more than 350 applicants to this year’s program and expressed her anticipation for the program to start: “I am elated to be part of this program. Knowing how Huawei is a powerhouse in the telecommunications industry, a chance to be part of their training program is obviously a chance not worth missing. I am excited to delve deep into the content and increase my expertise and knowledge. I expect to be challenged and fascinated by the coursework ahead”.
Seeds for the Future ultimately seeks to develop local ICT talent, enhance knowledge transfer, promote a greater understanding of and interest in the technology sector, and encourage regional participation in Kenya’s growing digital community