By Our Reporter
Kampala Uganda 20th May 2022. The Vice President of Uganda H.E Maj (rtd) Jessica Alupo has described Huawei Technologies (Uganda) Co., Ltd as a force to reckon with when it comes to developing the country’s budding Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.
The Vice President made the assertion during the awarding ceremony of the 2021 Seeds for the Future finalists and the 2021-2022 Huawei Regional ICT Competitions finalists. The event took place at the National Innovation Hub at UICT, Nakawa on Friday 20th May 2022.
H.E Alupo said Uganda’s ICT sector is one of the primary drivers for achieving economic growth and status as a middle-income country and that she was glad that the government’s partnership with Huawei was fostering the country’s ICT vision 2040.
“…..Because of your Huawei programs such as the Huawei ICT Academy, seeds for the future, and ICT Competition, we have managed to produce globally competitive human resources for our country. This is a good example indeed of how a global company can contribute to the ICT sector’s growth and advancement in technology by boosting ICT infrastructure and introducing cutting-edge technologies. Again, I do sincerely thank Huawei,” H.E Alupo appreciated.
She further encouraged all public and private higher learning institutions to open their doors to Huawei and their ICT talent development programs that could be of great value or benefit.
“As a woman who has risen to a high office, I would like to encourage more women out there to take up opportunities more so in ICT. I thank my daughters, Ms. Michelle Chemtai one of the participants of the 2021-2022 ICT Competitors who took up the first position at the regional stage, and the other girls who participated in these competitions. Thank you once again for representing your country and I wish you all the best as you prepare for the global competitions,” the Vice President added.
“Congratulations to Huawei Uganda for awarding our Ugandan students upon completing 2021-2022 seeds for the future program and 2021- 2022 Regional ICT Competitions. Congratulations to the new higher institutions that have partnered with Huawei to join their ICT Academy and congratulations again to the students who have been awarded.”
The Chinese Ambassador to Uganda Mr. Zhang Lizhong applauded the Government of Uganda for creating an enabling environment for foreign investors including Huawei. He further noted that the Focac meeting by President Xi JingPing in Senegal in November 2021 announced a series of new significant initiatives for China-Africa cooperation, including the nine programs on health, poverty reduction, agriculture, trade promotion, investment promotion, digital innovation, and capacity building among others.
“About Capacity Building Program, statistics show that by the end of 2021, China has provided more than 5,000 training opportunities for Ugandan professionals, technical talents, and students through short-term seminars, training workshops, and full scholarships provided by elite Chinese Universities.” He said
“Since 2019, Huawei has trained over 6000 excellent Ugandan university students through the “A Better U for A Better Uganda” ICT talents training programs encompassing Huawei ICT Academy, Seeds for the Future Program, and ICT Competition. Many of these young talents have already begun working in the field and achieved good results. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Huawei Uganda has donated a large number of medical supplies and daily necessities to communities in the Busoga Kingdom, Nwoya District, and Kiboga District,” Mr. Lizhong said.
“In Huawei Uganda, we see a fine example of a Chinese company who not only looks for profits for itself but also look for win-win results by giving back to the local community and its young generation so that business and friendship could last.”
On her part, Dr. Aminah Zawedde, the Ministry of ICT Permanent Secretary, said the Government of Uganda aspires to increase access and use of ICT across the entire population and its banking on reputable companies like Huawei to drive the national agenda.
“This will serve as a way of improving service delivery, employment, and social transformation through utilization of quality as well as affordable ICT services in all spheres of life. We are excited and proud that young Ugandans are fully embracing ICT through participation in competitions such as these and later on performing excellently till the top. I am happy that HUAWEI creates such initiatives and supports GoU in this journey of digital transformation,” Dr. Zawedde stated.
Mr. Rogers Irumba Kaija, the Undersecretary Ministry of Education and Sports said the Ministry partnered with Huawei for the Seeds for the future program and over the years they have always made it a point to play an active role in the implementation of the digital upskilling initiatives in schools and universities across the country.
“I call upon Huawei Technologies Uganda to begin exploring the possibilities for delivery of infrastructure that will bring our education and sports sector up to speed with the dynamic changes and resulting challenges that have been presented by the 21st century.
We believe that these skills that are being imparted through programs such as the ICT Academy, ICT Competition, and Seeds for the Future are relevant to our transformational agenda. They act as a crucial platform for sharing the latest ICT technologies, enriching students’ work experience, and equipping them with relevant skills for the dynamic world of work,” Mr. Irumba assured.
Mr Gao Fei, the Huawei Managing Director thanked the government of Uganda through the Ministries of ICT and that of Education for making the tech company’s work in Uganda so easy through providing an enabling environment and maintaining a very good investment climate.
“In this new era of digital, Huawei looks forward to accelerating scientific and technological innovation among Ugandan Youth; invest in knowledge innovation and talent development to bridge the gap between schools and enterprises. Huawei through its ‘Training’ initiatives aligns school majors and industry sectors, course content and professional qualifications, teaching structures and production processes, and talent development and employment. Huawei provides a comprehensive solution that covers the entire ICT talent development process from course development, trainer enablement, to lab environment setup, and from talent certification, competition, to employment,” Mr. Gao Fei explained.
He also disclosed that Huawei has already set up 17 ICT academies, trained over 5000 youths, certified over 2800, trained over 4500 through the ICT Competition, and given over 400 internships up to date.
“We are so enthusiastic to do more in regard to digital upskilling because of the understanding ICTs have enormous opportunities that Uganda can exploit to transform the economy and peoples’ lives through job creation, accelerated economic growth, and significantly increased productivity just as the Uganda 2040 digital vision.”
“We have started to see big fruit from our digital upskilling. Recently we have a group of Makerere University through our ICT Competition Innovation track who used our A.I, CLOUD, AND STORAGE technology to design an app project that can test HIV and Malaria using phone fingerprint scan and they presented this project at the competition. These are going are to be awarded today.”
Catherine Nakyanzi, one of the finalists at the Regional ICT competition, thanked Huawei for giving her a lifetime opportunity to develop her ICT skills.
“The competition motivated me and encouraged me to make more research and become innovative. Our quickest mobile app as Kilo-Tech diagnoses HIV malaria without pricking blood from the patient. We did this to save Ugandans the queues at health facilities,” said Nakyanzi, who is also a Makerere University student.
About Seeds for the Future and Huawei ICT competition:
Seeds for the Future is Huawei’s flagship global CSR program. The program was launched in 2008 with an aim to develop skilled, local ICT talent and bridge communication between countries and cultures.
Huawei ICT Competition is a competitive ICT talent exchange program developed globally for university, college, and TVET students. This aims to promote the healthy development of the ICT talent ecosystem and support the integration of industry and education.