Unesco, Huawei root for right skills for worker of the future

The demand for highly specialised tech skills is growing across multiple industries. The future, therefore, belongs to those who are attaining these crucial skills as they will be able to meet the needs of the economies anywhere in the world.    

To ensure availability of such skills, Unesco and Huawei are involved in initiatives that seek to integrate information and communication technology skills at different professional levels in diverse sectors of the economy.

Saidou Jallow, the Unesco Chief of Education of Eastern Africa said for the workers of the future to withstand disruptions their skills need to be aligned with market trends and emerging technologies such as cloud computing, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

To achieve this, Jallow says “requires a novel approach that prioritises market-oriented content”.

“It is incumbent upon various industry players to include their situational issues in the learning content and thus present the students and tutors with practical knowledge opportunities that enable them to create workable solutions in today’s innovation-hungry economy,” he noted, adding that the training programme is in partnership with more than 40 universities and colleges, and is designed to deepen ICT knowledge for all personnel.  

Kenya’s ICT Principal Secretary Jerome Ochieng said the country’s digital economy is growing and will only be accelerated by having a human resource with the right set of skills.

“The evolving nature of our economy, which now has a large digital component, requires our people to adjust rapidly to the shifting demands for skills and the attendant technologies that are driving this demand,” he said.

The PS was speaking during the national awards ceremony for finalists in the global Huawei ICT competition,

The prizes were presented to six national finalists in addition to six teams comprising 18 students who will be proceeding to the regional finalists.

Terence Omondi from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Jkuat) and Rush Morgan from the United States International University emerged top in the Network and Cloud segments respectively.

“The success of the Huawei ICT Competition can only be attributed to the strong partnership Huawei has built with various institutions of higher learning,” said Huawe’s Kevin Wen.

“We believe there are strong synergies between us and our academic partners, where we can each bring our own strengths to be partners and together achieve more than we could individually.”

Huawei also presented the team that will be battling on behalf of Kenya at the African competition level.  They comprise three teams competing under the Network Track from The University of Nairobi, Jkuat and Machakos University, two teams representing the Cloud track from Kenyatta University and Laikipia University and one team under the Innovation Track from Kenyatta University.

“Partnerships among industry players and between the public and private sectors will ensure talent with different perspectives and skills” stated Professor Jackson Kwanza from Jkuat , continuing: “Huawei has been proactive in its support for training and for its generous support and contribution to Kenya’s ICT space.”

The winning teams will compete at the regional finals with counterparts from across Africa at an online event taking place on February 19.

The Huawei ICT Competition is a tech talent event developed by the Chinese firm for students globally. With the theme “Connection, Glory, Future”, the competition gathers governments, institutions of higher learning, training institutions, industry enterprises to promote the cultivation, growth and employment of young ICT professionals from universities and colleges thereby helping the ICT talent ecosystem thrive.

Laikipia University, The Technical University of Kenya and University of Nairobi also received the Excellent Academy Award. The award was as a result of their outstanding performance in Huawei Certification training whereby over 400 students received training.

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