The 11 top students emerged as the national champions with six of them from Jomo Kenyatta University of Technology (JKUAT), Meru University, University of Nairobi (UoN) and Zetech University slated to attend the competition’s regional round to be held in South Africa at the end of the month.
If they succeed, they will head to China on a fully sponsored trip for the global finals that will involve candidates from over 50 countries.
The competition, launched in July this year, saw more than 4,000 IT students register at the preliminary stages from 40 universities across the country.
Of these, 600 were selected for training after a competitive selection process after which the top 100 then underwent further coaching at a boot camp session before sitting for the nationwide exams.
Speaking at the award ceremony, Chinese Embassy Charge d’Affaires, Li Xuhang, praised Kenyan students for participating in the contest to enhance and grow their ICT skills.
“To empower the youth is to empower the whole nation and that explains what Huawei is celebrating tonight, to build human capacities. I encourage all the young students to grasp the opportunities presented by innovative technologies such as ICT to nurture home-grown global companies in Kenya. I also wish that they become ambassadors of friendly relations between Kenya and China, as the two countries are set to mark their 55th anniversary of diplomatic ties in December this year,” he said.
This is the first time the ICT competition is being held in this region.
Launched in 2015, the competition invites ICT students from all over the world to test their ICT capabilities and provides a platform for the exchange of skills and experiences.
The competition has since then seen an increase in the number of participants, which has seen it become one of the largest competitions and platforms in the ICT sector.
“Huawei has demonstrated its commitment to leading digital transformation in Kenya through investing in young people by empowering them with the necessary knowledge and providing them with platforms and opportunities to sharpen their IT skills” said Jerome Ochieng, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of ICT.
“We continue to work together with partners like Huawei to leverage technologies as catalysing powers of the Big Four Agenda, such as precision agriculture for food security, smart and technologically ready homes for affordable housing, and connected hospitals for universal healthcare,” he added.
The Huawei ICT competition is a platform that is oriented to Huawei Authorized Information and Network Academy (HAINA), a certified programme that provides the latest technical training and certifications to students through training lecturers on Huawei Certified Network Associate – Routing and Switching (HCNA-R&S).
Kennedy Muthaura from Zetech University emerged as the champion of the national final and received a Huawei Matebook laptop as a prize for his excellent performance.
He will be joined by the other five top students heading to South Africa for the Regional Finals.
Huawei Kenya and a number of the company’s partners such as Redington, Sybl Limited, Next Technologies, Smoothtel, Express Auto, Computech and Atlancis have offered internships to the excellent achievers of the competition.
The 2018 ICT Competition has been launched in more than 10 sub-Saharan Africa countries, including South Africa, Nigeria Kenya and Zambia.
Under the slogan of “Connection, Glory, Future,” this event has attracted more than 20,000 participants. This figure has increased dramatically from 1,000 in 2017.
This programme is just one of many that Huawei has focused on nurturing young ICT skills talents to address skill shortages, stimulate employment, and support the country’s digital transformation.
Other initiatives include the Digital Literacy initiative for rural citizens getting broadband for the first time, Digital skills for life (DSL) programme for four-four leavers, Seeds for the Future programme for undergraduates, Graduate Training programme, and support for the Presidential Digital Talent programme (PDTP).
In September 2018, Huawei Kenya released its first-ever sustainability report themed “Kuwa Nawe, Kua Nawe”; “Being with You, Growing with you” emphasizing its ongoing, long-term commitment and support to helping the country to develop and grow through its innovative ICT solutions across various sectors.