The 2021 Huawei Seeds for the Future training program kicked off on Friday after selecting 60 top students from different local universities into the program.
This is the seventh cohort of students to go through the program since it started in 2014 and the second cohort to receive training virtually.
This year students will participate in the newly launched Tech4Good project which aims at challenging them to examine how to leverage technology to address the region’s persistent social and environmental issues. It will also encourage students to increase their social entrepreneurship, problem solving and leadership skills through collaboration and team work with students from participating countries globally.
The Kenyan students will be studying online alongside their counterparts from Qatar.
The students will undergo an intense 8-day virtual training covering both mandatory and elective courses on emerging technologies such as 5G,Artificial Intelligence, cloud, whilst exploring hot industry topics such as business, trade and globalization, macro-economic policies and Chinese culture.
Under the Tech4Good Project, the students will present their projects to a panel of judges, out of which the top 10 global teams will be shortlisted to compete in a global final competition at the end of the year.
“Skilled professionals are crucial for the growth and development of our country,” stated Huawei Kenya CEO Will Meng during the opening ceremony on Friday. He also reiterated that Huawei continues to create opportunities for beneficiaries to harness.
The 60 students were selected in a rigorous application process undertaken by Huawei and ICT Authority from over 300 applications.
The Ministry of ICT, through the ICT Authority, has been a collaborating partner with Huawei in Kenya since the first cohort in 2014.
In his keynote address, Principal Secretary Mr. Jerome Ochieng stated that an elite digitally skilled workforce will support the country’s objective of developing and consuming homegrown ideas, innovations and solutions that will deepen its digital and economic practices and thereafter enhance Kenya’s tech ecosystem.
“I wish to thank Huawei for working closely with the government over the years and for developing the Seeds for The Future program as part of their contribution towards supporting our digital transformation agenda,” he added.
Last year the virtual Seeds for the Future program reached over 3,000 students from across 103 countries and regions, tripling the number of annual participants. The number is deemed to increase in 2021.
Betty Kutto a student representative from the 2021 cohort selected from the more than 300 applications received, expressed her anticipation and excitement to start the training.
“I believe there is no better place to get knowledge to better the understanding of my career in technology than having these experience with Huawei,” she stated.
Seeds for the Future program 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.