As the ICT Authority begins recruitment for its fifth cohort of DigiTalents it is ramping up its support for the current cohort before they graduate. Enhancing their commitment to helping the students get the latest skills training, whilst also making the most of their private sector partnerships, the ICT Authority recently called upon Huawei to help provide the latest cutting-edge training to the students.

The ICT Authority has always been quite digitally advanced, and the 400 DigiTalents are managed and supported through an online portal; one that helps match them to internships as well as mentors, and one that is used for submitting and assessing innovations. Yet it is the ability to provide online training, especially during this time, that can really make a difference: providing the flexibility and cost-effectiveness necessary during these times.

The ICT Authority signed a MoU with Huawei in 2014 and again in 2017 that focused on capacity building as key components. With a trusted partner such as Huawei also being a key partner to the ICT Authority in building the nationwide fiber backbone network, as well as providing a cutting-edge cloud data center for ICT Authority’s sister organization under the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, it seemed obvious to ask Huawei to provide more training for the DigiTalents.

“I want to thank you especially for the continued support and collaboration in several programs that Huawei has been supporting under the skills and career development toward our Digitalents. Even our state corporations have great interest in technology training that Huawei is offering”.  Said Zilpher A Owiti, Head of Capacity Development & Literacy, Programme Manager and National Coordinator PDTP.

With its East Africa Training Center in Kenya, over 30 Universities and Institutes certified as training partners, and access to the best global training materials, Huawei was able to step up to the task. Over 150 DigiTalents received training and (should they pass the exam) will be certified free-of-charge, joining the more than 1,200 other students from the program in recent years to have been trained.

Philip Apodo Oyier, was one of the University lecturers helping train the students: “It was an honor to facilitate HCIA-AI certification training for the PDTP group, my first experience with the program coordinated by Huawei and ICT Authority. We had 21 interns in the class from varied backgrounds, thus the training approach was to build up from basic concepts to advanced topics, and emphasize on the practical labs. The interns had one week to prepare for the training but looks like this did not happen. The start was slow, but with encouragement from ICT Authority and Huawei, attendance improved with time. Students with programming challenges shared their screens, and the whole class participated in finding a solution. Most interns were active in class, asking questions and performing practical experiments as required. We had a class representative, and organized the students into groups with a leader to handle assignments and daily tests, but few were active and effective due to work-related challenges. We had a closing session on the last day, gave students time to review the training and discuss preparations for the mock and final exams. It was a great experience, with Michael from Huawei and Eustace from ICT Authority on standby to handle any matters arising; I really appreciate the opportunity granted to be part of the program and help share my skills with these future leaders of Kenya”.

After completing their testing, the participants will have access to free Huawei learning resources and tools including eNSP, Fusion Computer and different AI models. They also become Huawei Certified ICT Associates and will be fast-tracked for future job interviews and hiring by Huawei and its partners.

This has been a hugely successful program and has shown the ICT Authority at the forefront of online learning as well as strategic partnerships, leveraging both to great success in this case.

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