BY MWANAHABARI REPORTER
A total of 60 university students from across the country today successfully concluded the 2021 Virtual Seeds for the Future Program.
Among them, SignIT one of the groups made up of 10 students won the Tech4Good project selected by a panel of judges. The group has been shortlisted to join teams globally that will compete at the global final at the end of the year.
The students’ project named SignIT Recognition Tool aims to solve the communication gap between signers and non-signers, especially during online meetings.
The project uses Machine Learning to create a tool that recognizes sign language and translates it into text and vice versa. Although at the concept stage, this tool will be integrated to online meeting platforms, thus helping people who use sign language participate in online meetings.
The Tech4Good project was introduced alongside the one week training program to challenge participants to examine how to leverage technology to address the country’s most pressing social and environmental issues, whilst encouraging students to increase their social entrepreneurship, problem solving and leadership skills through team work with students from many different countries.
The 8 day long program consisted of training involving live-streamed sessions as well as pre-recorded courses accessible via Huawei’s online platform. In addition to the sessions, the students had access to presentations on tech trends in key industries by Kenyan industry experts, entrepreneurship courses and undertook the Tech4Good group project.
The 2021 cohort have also completed training on cutting-edge technology including 5G, cloud computing, AI, and IoT, whilst exploring virtually the Huawei exhibition halls.
Stronger ICT and talent ecosystem
Additionally, the students have had the opportunity to collaborate virtually with their fellow counterparts from Qatar and interact with experts from various industries through virtual lectures designed to complement their current knowledge and learn more about Chinese culture and Chinese Historical Sites.
The Huawei Seeds for the Future program recognizes the skill gap that exists in the technology sector today across the globe and seeks to bridge the talent gap through training. The program’s success is partly due to close collaboration with students, academia, ICT Authority under the Ministry of ICT, and various other stakeholders, and helps build a stronger and more sustainable ICT and talent ecosystem.
During her keynote address Kenyan Ambassador to China Amb. Sarah Serem lauded Huawei as one of the institutions that has made tremendous contributions to the development to the telecoms industry in Kenya whilst also focusing on youth development. “Huawei is contributing to technology programs where the youth accumulate ICT knowledge and expertise that fits into the government’s goals thereby developing its human resource” she stated.
“I was able to understand how 5G, Cloud computing, blockchain, AI and IOT are revolutionizing the world.” Stated Judy Achieng’ one of the beneficiaries of this year’s program from Multi Media University pursuing Bsc. Electrical and Telecommunication Engineering.
Over the years, Huawei has contributed significantly to building the ICT talent pipeline within the country. With the growth of technology, there needs to be ready and available talent to operate and maintain the ICT infrastructure present.
In addition to the Seeds for the Future Program, Huawei has also signed partnerships with over 51 institutions of higher learning to become Huawei ICT Academies thereby enabling their lecturers to offer courses on various emerging technologies including Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence, and Internet of Things among others.
Knowledge learned in the school
ICT is a crucial growth engine for different industries stated Huawei Deputy CEO Ms. Fiona Pan in her speech, adding: “As an industry leader, we are committed to promoting the development of ICT in the countries we operate in. We continuously seek to close the gap between knowledge learned in the school and industry skills thereby enhancing knowledge transfer and building ICT capacity.”
The Seeds for the Future program is Huawei’s global flagship Corporate Social Responsibility program which aims to nurture young ICT professionals in countries where Huawei operates.