HARARE – The embattled Chinese technology company Huawei on Friday donated telecommunications equipment worth 98,000 U.S. dollars to the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) to enable the institution to offer the latest training in information and communication technology.
The equipment was handed over to the university by Huawei Zimbabwe (Pvt) Limited managing director Hao Wen to UZ acting vice chancellor Paul Mapfumo.
Hao said his company had become a leading ICT player in Zimbabwe since entering the local market in 1998 and was committed to enhancing technical skills training to students.
“As a result of this commitment, we will, today, hand over the ICT equipment to the University of Zimbabwe. This laboratory equipment will enable the University of Zimbabwe to offer the latest technical training to students and professionals in the industry. We hope they could help develop local ICT talent and boost ICT industry development of Zimbabwe,” he said.
He added that the company was committed to building a better connected Zimbabwe, to bridge the digital divide by increasing network coverage and had so far built more than 2,500 km optical cable and serving over 4 million people.
“As part of our ongoing investment, Huawei has created over 20,000 jobs directly and indirectly. We would also like to continue to cooperate with Zimbabwean schools, universities and colleges to build capacity and enhance technical skills transfer to students,” he said.
Hao said the company intended to continue creating continuous innovation and cooperation in the ICT industry through its Seeds for the Future corporate social responsibility program.
“We leverage our world-leading ICT technologies in the program to cultivate ICT professionals in the countries where it operates and thus drive the local ICT industry forward.” Hao said.
The Seeds for the Future program was launched in Zimbabwe in 2016 and so far more than 40 outstanding students have travelled to China for training.
ICT minister Kazembe said the handover of the ICT equipment would enable Zimbabwean universities to produce world class graduates and professionals as it made learning and teaching skills more effective.
“This will enhance professional skills and competency in ICT among ICT practitioners and science and technology and engineering students and graduates for the benefit of the country as we move towards an upper middle income economy by 2030,” he said.
Acting vice chancellor Mapfumo said UZ was looking forward to becoming a center of excellence following the donation of the equipment. He added that given the increasing importance of ICTs, Zimbabwe needed to strengthen its technological base in order to meet the demands of the 21st Century.