EIGHT Botho University students were this week awarded certificates and cellphones by global telecommunications giant Huawei after participating in the 2018/19 Huawei Africa region competition.
In December 2018, Botho University Maseru campus hosted a Huawei boot training for students in the faculty of computing and the competition attracted 38 students across all semesters.
More than 30,000 students from more than 200 universities all over the continent participated in the competition in order to improve their Information and communications technology (ICT) skills. HUAWEI also collaborated with local universities to give free boot camp training.
The top 11 students, two best academies and three best instructors, who provided ICT training to students in each country were awarded for their outstanding achievements in the national competition.
Speaking at the awarding ceremony, Huawei Africa Representative, Khanyisile Ndumo, said they hold the Huawei ICT competition for university students annually to increase collaboration with institutions of higher learning and build an international platform for ICT talent exchange.
“We launched our first ICT competition in 2015 and in 2018 the competition reached 11 countries across Southern Africa where more than 30 000 students from more than 200 universities participated in this competition to improve their ICT skills,” Ndumo said.
She said the top three students and one instructor from each country were then invited to South Africa to compete in the regional finals. In total, 14 teams gathered in South Africa where the teams’ practical skills were tested using a simulator to configure and connect hardware equipment.
Ndumo said the competition provides communication and exchange for more universities to help more students improve their ICT skills and promote talent exchange and development.
“Most importantly, Huawei will organise job fairs for HUAWEI certified students and HUAWEI partners and this will bridge the gap between academia and the ICT industry.
“We would like to congratulate the top eight students from Botho University for making it to the national round of the competition and obtaining great scores in the exam,” Ndumo said.
Basotho Enterprises Development Corporation (BEDCO)’s Chief Executive Officer Makatleho Matabooe said the programme came at an opportune time when the private sector is talking privatisation and empowering the private sector though ICT.
“With ICT, it will be easier to penetrate markets which are hard to penetrate with traditional methods and we wish to see Botho students own their own ICXT companies.
“We want the students to go out and help small businesses to understand the importance of ICT that will help their business succeed,” Matabooe said.
The Huawei ICT competition South Africa regional finalist, Seeio Seetsa, said though it was tough, the competition enabled him to acquire different skills in computing.
“Having been a student at Botho University for four years, I never thought I would receive an award but thanks to the Huawei competition and the support from the school,” Seeiso said.