SIX Tanzanian students from the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) have qualified for the Huawei Global ICT competition after excellent performance in recent Huawei sub-Saharan Africa ICT Competition finals.
The Competition Online Award Ceremony held on Thursday aimed at providing a platform for global ICT talents to showcase their ability to compete and communicate, encouraging ICT-related studies and drive the growth of a robust ICT talent ecosystem.
At least 13 winning teams from Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, Zambia and other regions, including the US, will compete in another champion in November's global finals.
Among the winning teams that received awards during the ceremony, 10 teams from Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Lesotho entered the global finals after a stiff competition in a network track, while the cloud track sees the victory of three teams from Nigeria, Mauritius and Zambia.
Tanzania has nine students grouped into three teams.
Two Tanzanian teams made it to the global finals, one of the two teams being the first winner among the 40+ teams that participated in the competition and the second team finished in 4th place and, therefore, won the second prize.
The two teams are made up of students from UDSM College of Information and Communication Technologies (Coict). First Prize winners were Mpoki Abel Mwaisela, Hongo Kelvin and Henry Kihanga while second prize winners were Aghatus Biro, John Lazaro and Elisante Akaro.
The awards ceremony marks sub-Saharan Africa's five consecutive years of active participation in the Huawei ICT Competition, which attracted more than 50,000 students from 14 African countries with a slogan "Connection, Glory and the Future" and the latest ICT knowledge such as cloud computing, AI, mobile networks and big data. During the ceremony attended by high-rank government officials, industry leaders, and students.
Huawei Middle East and Africa VP Hou Tao highlighted the impressive enthusiasm of the students needed for Africa's digital inclusion in the era when the gravity of workplace skills was already shifting online.
"International experience suggests that this is a key area where public-private partnerships can have a substantial impact. " Mr Tao says: "As a private company serving the African market for over 20 years, Huawei has dedicated itself to and will always remain a trusted partner of governments and the academia in building an ICT talent pool, strengthening capacity building and increasing people's digital competence."
Speaking as the representative of university educators, Prof Funso Falade, President of African Engineering Education Association (AEEA) identified several challenges facing training of engineers in Africa such as lack of fund, brain drain and weak university/industry partnership. He then acknowledged Huawei's constructive role in addressing those challenges.
"Skills development opportunities provided by Huawei Technologies Company Limited are in line with AEEA goal and aspiration for our students and a critical area where we need a lot of expertise in Africa more than ever before going by the disruption that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought to our educational system," he added.
The awards ceremony closed with good wishes and encouragement to students who qualified for November's global finals. "Good luck in the global final, I look forward to an African team taking the top spot," said Mr Tao.
Huawei ICT Competition is one of the biggest events of its kind.
Among participating countries, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa held the national opening or awards ceremony where multiple ministers and officials in science and education spoke to commend the ICT competition's positive role in cultivating the African science and technology talent pool.