In a bid to build capacity in the ICT sector, Huawei and the ICT Authority is looking to train 40 engineering students by the end of 2015 and a total of 100 students in three years through its telecomm seeds for future initiative. This was announced during sending-off ceremony of 10 students from various local universities to China for training in Nairobi. The engineering students set to leave tomorrow in their 3rd, 4th and 5th year of study, will acquire practical and professional skills in ICT during the visit.

While in China, the students will receive advanced training in requisite ICT skills and a chance to apply the latest technologies from top IT specialists at Huawei University. The students will also be exposed to Chinese culture in order to boost their cross- cultural work experience at the Huawei headquarters.

“It is good that this project has benefited 18 students where 4 are already employed at Huawei, one absorbed by KENET and another at McKiney Consulting Kenya Limited, and the remaining 12 have gone back to the university to complete their studies, remarked ICT CS, Fred Matiang’i during the event.” Matiang’i added “There is need to increase capacity in ICT skills to bridge the growing gap in the sector. Take a look at the government; it is still facilitating some of its services using analogue systems. For the country to move forward and grow economically, we need to train more engineers on new technology so as to have a sustainable economy.”

The ‘Seeds for future programme’ is a global intiative launched in five countries in Africa with Kenya as the first African country. The program aims at equipping engineering students with relevant industry skills.”Huawei is  committed  to bridging  the digital  divide ,giving ICT  students an opportunity  to gain valuable  hands-on work experience and  mentorship, for them to develop home grown engineering solutions. This can be fully encouraged with  more on-the job training  to up-skills of graduates level, hence utilizing local content,” reiterated Huawei CEO, Dean Yu.

In the area of engineering education accreditation, IEK Honorary Secretary, Eng. Nathaniel Matlanga stated that there is need for engineering students to understand that for a programme to be accredited by EBK, it has to follow specific stages. These stages have to be adhered to by the universities for effective service delivery. He also insists that parliament needs to clarify more on the engineering Act 2011 so as to bring out the difference between an engineer, technician and technologists.

Last year, Huawei and ICT Authority sent off nine students from the programme. Moreover, Huawei has set up 45 training centers worldwide under the Huawei seeds for the future program, offering student scholarships, donating ICT equipment and laboratories to local universities, providing technical courses, teacher training ,qualification assessment and career certification  through the Huawei Authorized Network  Academy (HANA) which has combined beneficiaries of over 10000 students.

Present at the commissioning of the students was Eunice Kariuki, ICT Authority CEO, Victor Kyalo and other representatives from Huawei and government.

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