From Left to Right: Prof Njoroge of Nairobi University, Prof. Esther Kahangi JKUAT Deputy Vice Chancellor, Huawei Kenya CEO Herman He and Nzioka Waita Safaricom's Head of Strategy and New Business

Huawei and Safaricom on one side and Moi, JKUAT and University of Nairobi on the other side coming together for the greater benefit of Kenyan young minds is such a great thing. Safaricom and Huawei have today signed the memorandum of Association (MoU) with the three local universities under Huawei’s ‘telecom seed for the future program ’ help in upgrading the skills of local Telecomms Engineering graduates.

Li Dafeng, President Eastern & Southern Africa Region Huawei believes that the criticism which has been directed at the African education system can only be avoided by bridging the knowledge gap between the graduates and the industry. This is what the partnership seeks to achieve. And the presence of the high powered delegation of Chinese government officials and Huawei management was a testimony to the seriousness.

Dafeng confessed that he saw Kenya becoming an ICT hub in the next five years following its efforts to allow more of its higher education institutions to engage in such partnership with leading ICT solution providers. Huawei is the second largest solution provider in terms of revenue right after Swedish giant, Ericsson .  Under the MoU signed today, students from Moi, JKUAT and Nairobi Universities will benefit from advanced training in latest telecommunication technologies through Huawei’s East Africa state-of–the-art training centre situated along Mombasa Road. Huawei will help in the review of the Universities curriculums and launch competition for Android applications development.

Nzioka Waita of Safaricom also noted that the company will be launching another 5,000 digital villages by 2012. By the December 2010, over 4500 students had received certified training from the Mombasa Road based Huawei Training center. Safaricom will provide connectivity and central platform on Safaricom.Com to enable the local developers easily monetise their apps.

The Huawei Nairobi training centre has;

  • 2 Training Lab
  • 5 Classrooms
  • 100 trainees at the same time
  • More than 25 professional instructors
  • Over 50 part-time instructors

Huawei’s IDEOS brand of smartphones currently commands 45% or more than 250,000 of smartphone market with now greater demand for localised application being witnessed by the vendors. PS Ndemo says that he sees 90% of phones being smartphones in the next 2 years.

According to the Ministry of Higher Education, Kenya has only around 6,000 fully qualified engineers which translates to a ratio of 150 engineers per one million Kenyans. This pales against the 550 engineers per one million in South Africa.

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