HARARE, (Xinhua) — A group of 30 students from Zimbabwe’s universities on Friday completed a week-long virtual learning workshop with Huawei Zimbabwe as part of the Chinese telecom giant’s Seeds for the Future program.
The Seeds for the Future program is envisioned as Huawei embraces Corporate Social Responsibility in its global mission which aims to nurture young ICT professionals in host countries.
In addition, the program seeks to cultivate digitally resilient young people who have the skills needed to be competitive in the 21st century.
The hands-on intensive learning experience took the participating students on an exciting journey that equipped them with valuable knowledge on cutting edge technologies such as 5G, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing among others from top industry experts and professionals from Huawei.
The participating students were also able to experience Huawei products and services through virtual tours, presentations and exchanges with Huawei executives.
The students had the opportunity to take part in virtual visits to historic sites in China.
Beneficiaries of the event described the program as an eye-opener that has given them a new ICT perspective and broadened their career paths.
One of the outstanding students, Ronaldo Chiureki, a Civil Engineering student at the University of Zimbabwe, promised to use what he learned to contribute to the development of the ICT sector in Zimbabwe, stressing that the program had been a life changer.
“We did Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence, 5G, cybersecurity, and a course on leadership,” he said. “The one on leadership was my favorite because it helped me discover that you need purpose, you need something that keeps you going, and also it doesn’t work saying that I have a dream, you have to make that a reality, something like I have a plan, I have a goal, and I actually changed my attitude from something like I have a dream to something like I have a goal.”
Another outstanding student, Takudzwa Tarutira, a telecommunications student at TelOne Center for Learning, said China provides a learning template to Zimbabwe’s ICT players.
“If we can continue engaging with the giants like Huawei, we can be able to tap their knowledge, they can be able to give us the knowledge that they have and the experience such that we as Zimbabweans can be able to adopt the technologies that China is using for the betterment of our ICT industry,” he said.
Best female student Mitchelle Rivha, a University of Zimbabwe Computer Science student, challenged women to penetrate the ICT and engineering sectors which are heavily male-dominated.
“More ladies should get into the engineering sector, they should come to the sciences and experience it because they too can do it,” she said. “If anyone else can do it, then they (girls) too have the power and the capacity to do it. I believe they can also achieve as much as the boys can achieve.”
Jeremiah Chakaamba, one of the best performers and a University of Zimbabwe student, said Zimbabwe has so much to benefit from adopting advanced technologies.
“Taking 5G for example, if it comes to Zimbabwe right now, we are talking about driverless cars, we are talking about telemedicine, a doctor might be in India but doing an operation here in Harare, those are the possibilities that are offered by 5G, and I am very glad to be part of this program,” he said.
Eighty undergraduate students from different universities have benefited from the Seeds for the Future program since it was launched in Zimbabwe in 2015.
Huawei Zimbabwe has been operating in the southern African country since 1999 and has played a significant role in upgrading Zimbabwe’s ICT infrastructure.