Uganda pens deal with Airtel, Huawei to cultivate tech talent
The government of Uganda has entered into a MoU with Huawei to provide adequate skills, training and certification courses such as 5G, AI, cloud, security, data communications and others that are required by employers to Uganda Institute of Communication Technology (UICT) students and ICT officers.
Uganda’s Minister of ICT and National Guidance Dr Chris Baryomunsi launched what is described as a talent cultivation partnership MOU between his Ministry and Huawei.
According to the agreement Huawei will provide; staff professional development, sharing of the latest educational materials and resources on latest technologies, exchange of publications and other materials of common interest and promote unified international standards that govern cybersecurity for emerging technologies.
Dr. Baryomunsi said, “This is highly welcomed as it is geared towards skilling of both students and ICT Officers with aim of equipping them with the right skills, competencies to manage, support and ensure that ICT delivers business value. I am pleased that this initiative benefits our agencies through providing talent cultivation, systematic practical training system thus making them more competitive in the jobs market and the provision of employment opportunities.”
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of ICT Dr Aminah Zawedde added: “This engagement is to provide quality education and skills aligned to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Africa’s Agenda 2063, Uganda Vision 2040, NDP III 2020/21 - 2024/25, National ICT Policy and achievement of NDP III Digital Transformation Programme and Development of an agile ICT-Human Resource Capital etc. Huawei will provide capacity support to the Department to implement the ICT talent development in terms of 5G, AI, Cyber Security, Cloud and Big Data and other ICT technologies,” she noted.
Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) Executive Director Eng Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo said that the Huawei ICT Academy initiative is fulfilment of the Commission’s vision to drive the development of a robust communication sector in Uganda.
“A robust communication sector relies heavily on ICT talent pool. So there is great need for a country such as Uganda to focus heavily on talent cultivation education, its practice and capabilities so that there is a perfect balance between supply and demand,” said Sewankambo.
Huawei Managing Director Gaofei called for urgent need to reform traditional teaching content and focus more on cutting edge technologies because that's what the industry wants.
“It’s important to note that as digitisation accelerates in various industries, colleges and universities urgently need to reform traditional teaching content and focus more on cutting-edge technologies, ensure that courses keep up with the times, guarantee that teaching materials are related to industry practices, and help students become more employable. That’s why we are working with various universities in Uganda and are willing to work with more through the ICT Academy program. In Uganda, we now have 17 universities and we have certified their assigned teachers free of charge. We have already surpassed training 5000 and over 2800 students are Huawei certified.”
Airtel Uganda pledged to offer internship placement opportunities to UICT students who are the direct beneficiaries of the MOU.
Airtel’s CTO Rajesh Agrawal said Airtel was excited to be part of the digital transformation drive that would foster Uganda's ICT vision.
Agrawal noted that Huawei has promoted and built a strong foundation of knowledge base for the students of ICT and Engineers to prepare them to become excellent cyber experts who will efficiently serve the ICT industry as well as the people of Uganda at large.
He added that ICT has become the backbone for all the segments of society without any bias to the gender, age, demography and economic status.
"ICT is no more a luxury but has become the basic need of one and all who need to survive and thrive in this competitive world."