While things on the consumer product side of things do not appear to be going smoothly for Huawei, the Chinese firm still has ambitious plans when it comes to the local ICT sector, and skills development in particular. To that end Huawei has sent out a reminder for its annual ICT Competition, which is taking place in China next year, and calling for more South African students to register.

The last ICT Competition saw 80 000 students from across the globe registering, with 28 000 of those coming from Sud-Saharan Africa.

“It is aimed at driving the development of ICT talent for industry growth and digital transformation and is a crucial element of Huawei’s talent ecosystem, which seeks to address the skills shortage in the sector,” the company explains about the competition.

There has already been significant interest, local Huawei spokespeople have confirmed.

“In South Africa, we have set an ambitious target of registering 10 000 students for the national phase,” notes ICT talent development manager, Tsholofelo Llale.

“We are excited to report that we have already registered 7 000 students from 20 SA universities and colleges,” Llale adds.

The firm also notes that it has conducted roadshows throughout the country at leading universities, TVET and private colleges and other tertiary institutions over the past few months, in order to raise awareness.

As far as topics for the ICT Competition goes, Huawei explains that 4IR technologies like cloud computing, artificial intelligence, 5G mobile networks and big data are a significant focus.

Those ICT students interested in registering themselves for the competition still have until 20th October to do so. As part of the next phase of the competition, students will be required to write preliminary exam, and from there the top 100 will be selected for the national stage. These 100 students will attend a bootcamp focused on their selected fields before a lab exam is written.

Once this stage is completed, six students will be chosen, with two teams from two institutions to compete Sub-Saharan regional phase, and hopefully beyond.

“These students will be trained by our expert engineers to help them prepare for the regional final in February 2020,” says Llale.

“Our goal is to ensure that they take the first prize in the regional final and represent Southern Africa in the international final in China in May 2020,” she concludes.