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Huawei sends tech students to China for training as it celebrates nurturing ICT skills

By EDITH MUTETHYA | China Daily Africa | Updated: 2018-09-28 02:45
Jerome Ochieng, the principle secretary in the ministry of ICT hands a flight ticket to one of the beneficiaries of this year's Huawei Seeds for the Future program, during the ceremony held in Nairobi, Kenya on September 27,2018. Edith Mutethya/China Daily

Jerome Ochieng, the principle secretary in the Ministry of ICT, together with Li Xuhang, the charge d'affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, on Thursday flagged off the fifth cohort of the Huawei Seeds for the Future program students.

The nine students will travel to China for a two-week ICT training in Huawei's global headquarters in Shenzhen China, where they will get hands-on experience on the latest ICT technologies and solutions.

The Seeds for the Future program was launched in Kenya in 2014 as part of a memorandum of understanding signed between Huawei and the ICT Authority. The MOU incorporates promoting ICT literacy, research and innovation; building ICT capacity amongst government and the ICT ecosystem; sharing best practices on ICT technologies, strategies and policies; and developing ICT infrastructure and e-government services.

Over the last five years, the program has seen more than 130 students undergo a two-month internship at the Huawei offices in Nairobi and 46 travel to China for training, with some joining globally renowned ICT companies.

Stone He, the CEO of Huawei Kenya, said it's through such strategic partnerships that Kenya will be able to nurture and tap top talents and skills that are key to driving digital transformation and contributing to the government's Big Four agenda.

"We continue to honor our commitment made during President Uhuru Kenyatta's visit to Huawei headquarters in Beijing in May 2017, to continuously expand this and other programs to cultivate more ICT talent locally," he said.

He said through the ICT Authority, the ministry of ICT collaborates with various stakeholders to enhance ICT skills in the country, running initiatives such as the Presidential Digital Talent Program, Digital Skills for Life and the Seeds for the Future initiative.

Jerome Ochieng, the principle secretary in the ministry of ICT, said ICT plays a critical role in Kenya's socio-economic development and it is an enabler for achieving the Big Four Agenda.

To realize Kenya's digital transformation, Ochieng said it is vital for the government to partner with the private sector such as Huawei to find the best solutions and implement them.

"I would like to acknowledge the achievements made by some of this country's best ICT students who have excelled in their internships and have been rewarded with a life changing trip to Huawei's headquarters in Shenzhen, China," he said.

The 2018 Seed for the Future program students take a group photo with the invited guests during the ceremony held in Nairobi, Kenya, on September 27,2018. Edith Mutethya/China Daily

Li Xuhang, the charge d'affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, congratulated Huawei for making their "Seeds for the Future", one of the most famous CSR brands in ICT. He also congratulated the students for earning a valuable study trip to one of the world's top ICT companies.

Li mentioned that the innovation brought by M-Pesa can be compared to the changes that Alibaba has created in China. He emphasized the importance of people to people exchanges and noted that on average a Chinese company employs 360 local staff in Kenya, compared to 147 employed by other foreign companies.

He thanked the Kenyan government for supporting Chinese companies' development, saying it's critical for the cooperation plan that was set out during the FOCAC summit in Beijing earlier this month.

During the ceremony, Marvine Ngesa, who went to China last year recalled his trip to China as informative, entertaining and eye-opening. He briefed this years' students on what to expect and the discoveries awaiting them.

Dennis Kimutai, one of those who will be leaving for China, said he will make the most of the trip to bring back knowledge and skills needed for Kenya's digital transformation.

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