Huawei has launched its 2023 Seeds for the future with 50 students drafted from across universities and colleges in Zambia.
Speaking during the launch of the programme in Lusaka on Tuesday, Science and Technology Minister Felix Mutati said the program contributes greatly to bridging digital divides in Zambia.
Mr. Mutati said the program is well aligned with Zambia’s digital agenda and he commended Huawei for the program, saying it was in line with the government’s strategy of improving digital skills, promoting digital entrepreneurship and facilitating the flow of digital information.
He said the exposure that the students will receive through the program will help in accelerating Zambia’s digital transformation.
“We are confident that this training will spark the minds that will come up with wonderful innovation ideas and consequently research,” he said.
The program, he added, will go a long way in bridging the digital gap in Zambia, adding that the government was happy with the impact of the program over the years.
Seeds for the future is a flagship program aimed at upscaling ICT talents.
Speaking at the same launch, Meng Hao, Minister Counsellor of Chinese Embassy, said China takes pride in the development of ICTs and ICT talents because technological development was a catalyst to social and economic development.
Meng commended Huawei for extending ICT trainings in Zambia as well as other initiatives and expressed confidence that such partnerships that embodies China-Zambia relations will result in the cooperation between the two countries growing from strength to strength.
Meng urged the participating students to take the program seriously as it will provide them with right skills to enable them make it in the tech industry as well as realize their full potential.
Phil Li, Vice-President for the Southern African region, said the company’s goal was to increase social and economic opportunities for people and increase youth employability through ICT capacity building.
In a speech read for him by Bette Chen, Huawei Zambia Managing Director, the official said the company believes that digital talent was a key driver in achieving digital transformation, solid economic growth and better quality of life.
“We have made Seeds for the Future to be a major catalyst to the expansion and integration of digital skills all over the world,” he said.
The company, he said, was pleased with the program as it has brought endless benefits in communities, adding that many students have been exposed to latest technological innovations and entrepreneurship skills.
According to him, the company will continue to double its efforts in bridging the digital gaps through skills training and was seeking for more partnerships.
Josphat Kalezhi, the Dean in the School of Information and Communication Technology at the Copperbelt University, one of the universities participating in the program, commended Huawei for the program as it was a defining project for Zambia’s digital transformation journey.
He said the program has gone a long way in developing digital talent in Zambia.
Louis Mwape, Huawei Zambia Public Relations Manager, said a total of 102 students have been trained in Zambia since 2015, adding this will grow to 148 with the 50 selected for this year’s program.