Two Rwandan universities join Huawei ICT academy program

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Huawei has announced its partnership with two Rwandan universities, which officially became Huawei Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Academies in Rwanda.

The announcement on Thursday by the leading ICT solutions provider followed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the University of Rwanda and Rwanda Polytechnic, at an event in the Rwandan capital, Kigali.

“We are hoping through this partnership we can work together to close the gap for students within the ICT sectors between the academic and the employment world to get real standard certifications that would support them to use their knowledge and practice in real life,” Huawei country director Tonni Yang said. “This is a way to support the country in the development of the ICT sector.”

The Huawei ICT Academy is a Huawei-authorized project for industry-academy cooperation. It aims to provide students with the latest ICT technologies and knowledge, as well as to train professionals that can meet the requirements of customers and partners from Huawei’s industry chain.

It is a non-commercial agreement between Huawei and universities, colleges that brings the latest professional certifications.

At the same function, Seeds for the Future training program 2021, to be conducted virtually, was flagged off. The program helps students to learn about the latest technology trends, discover the technology ecosystem in China as well as to learn from best experts.

Yang commended Rwanda’s ICT and education ministries for supporting Huawei’s Seeds for the Future program since 2018 and now the ICT academy program.

Rwandan State Minister in charge of ICT and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Claudette Irere praised the University of Rwanda and Rwanda Polytechnic for partnering with Huawei on its ICT academy initiative that she said is pivotal for ICT talent development in the east African country.

“We believe that the signing of the MOU and the participation of our students in the Seeds for Future program will act as a crucial platform for sharing latest ICT technologies and enriching students’ work experience, helping them to prepare work efficiently and effectively at their future employment places,” she said.

The minister commended China for the long standing relationship with Rwanda.

This relationship, she said, has fostered great investment ventures across the country’s economy and has been a driving force in boosting Rwanda’s trade and infrastructure growth.

Irere noted there is a need for the education sector to work closely with the private sector to train and jointly develop programs that are needed by the industry.

It is on this note that Huawei is introducing a certification program in our universities to equip our students to prepare them for both present and future needs, she said.

Wang Jiaxin, the economic and commercial counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Rwanda, stressed the importance of technology.

In the face of the fourth industrial revolution, being young, being ambitious, thinking big is not enough; we need to enrich the population with technologies, we need to equip them with skills and expertise, he said.

Noting that Huawei is very eager to share technologies with its partners, Wang thanked Rwanda for its cooperation with Huawei when some “western politicians try to smear Huawei, and force some countries not to work with Huawei.”

He said such initiatives from Chinese companies in Rwanda also mark a milestone of the 50-year relationship between the People’s Republic of China and Rwanda.

In Rwanda, the Seed for the Future program started in 2018 and over 15 Rwandan students have gone to China for hands-on training.

Last year, the program was moved online due to COVID-19 and since then the number of students has tripled.

The eight-day virtual training program consists of three-hour pre-recorded courses and 13 hours of live stream in technology entry level and advanced sessions on such topics as 5G, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and cyber security, and also give interactive visit sessions to Huawei’s exhibition halls.

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