Huawei Kenya kicked off the seventh cohort of students participating in the global Seeds for the Future program. The flagship program started globally in 2008 and has benefitted almost 200 students in Kenya since 2014.
The ICT Cabinet Secretary, Innovation and Youth Affairs, Joe Mucheru, and Ambassador Zhou Pingjian gave keynote speeches to the students and commended Huawei for the highly relevant content, contribution to developing ICT talent and supporting the development of Kenya’s Digital Economy.
The program aims to develop skilled, local ICT talent and bridge communication between countries and cultures. By sharing ICT expertise and experiences in the global business environment, young people from different countries learn about advanced technologies in the ICT industry and accumulate ICT expertise and skills through the Seeds for the Future program, contributing to the progress of the global ICT industry.
This year’s program will be held virtually for the first time providing a 5-day intensive training with more than 20 mandatory and elective courses offering 60 participants from around the country training in technology fields, including 5G, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing to empower students to understand the latest technology trends to equip them in today’s job market.
At the launch event, Huawei Kenya CEO Mr Will Meng stated in his opening remarks that they invest so much in supporting Kenyan ICT talent to drive the ICT industry and power every other industry. He expressed hope that the students will go on to play a significant role in Kenya’s development, and drive forwards the Digital Economy.
According to the recently released draft Digital Economy Strategy for Kenya, Digital Skills are a critical part of the country’s efforts to grow the digital economy. Across the ICT ecosystem there is an urgent need for large numbers of technical staff who can address the challenges posed by this transformation and help the country take advantage of new technologies. The Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs has worked closely with Huawei for several years to implement the Seeds for the Future program as well as other initiatives related to digital skills.
Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Innovation & Youth Affairs, Joe Mucheru, was a Keynote speaker at the virtual opening ceremony. He noted that during the pandemic, the government has made tremendous progress in digitization efforts.
21 of the 60 students who qualified for the course were from JKUAT.
Lotengan Kelvin Esinyen who joined the program in 2018 and since become a full-time wireless engineer at Huawei Kenya had an incredible experience in China. He lauded Huawei for giving him the opportunity of a lifetime.
“It was an impressive experience in my life. We were shown all the state-of-the art equipment and we visited Huawei’s laboratories which was priceless,” he marvelled.
Sylvia Kipkemoi, a student at JKUAT has been selected from more than 350 applicants to this year’s program and expressed her anticipation for the program to start.
“I am elated to be part of this program. Knowing how Huawei is a powerhouse in the telecommunications industry, a chance to be part of their training program is obviously a chance not worth missing. I am excited to delve deep into the content and increase my expertise and knowledge. I expect to be challenged and fascinated by the coursework ahead”. She said.
Seeds for the Future ultimately seeks to develop local ICT talent, enhance knowledge transfer, promote a greater understanding of and interest in the technology sector, and encourage regional participation in Kenya’s growing digital community.
Huawei’s longstanding Seeds for the Future program is moving forward this year despite disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic and will support internet costs of the participants in the program, providing participants with a mix of live and recorded content.