Deputy CEO, Huawei, Fiona Pan and Ministry of Education PS Dr Margaret Mwakima.

Global tech heavyweight Huawei is rolling out a programme that will help to shore up the digital skills of learners in Kenya’s vocational and technical training schools.

In a deal signed between Huawei and the Ministry of Education’s State department for Vocational and Technical Training, roughly 1000 students will get the relevant know-how to work in ICT industries.

To get the programme running, Huawei ICT Academy signed partnership with ten national polytechnics in Kenya, appointing them as ICT Academy partners in a move that will enhance skills capacity among their 150 trainers.

The skills advancement programme that was signed by Dr Margaret Mwakima, Principal Secretary State Department for Vacational Technical Training and Ms Fiona Pan, Deputy CEO, Huawei, also seeks to enrich the ICT infrastructure within the target schools.

The deal also involves the undertaking of ICT skills survey to inform the state and level of ICT skills among students in vocational schools in order to plug any gaps better going forward.

The PS stated that the Ministry has taken note of Huawei initiatives to develop the ICT and digital talent of the youth in Kenya.

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“It is for this reason that the ministry will sign a partnership to expand Huawei ICT Academies in our TVET institutions,” Dr Mwakima noted.

The partnership will also reinforce Huawei’s commitment in nurturing local ICT talent whilst bridging the digital skills gap especially at a time when digital technology is developing rapidly globally.

At the moment, the world is witnessing the rollout and use of 5G technologies as well as artificial intelligence, big data and cloud services across industries.

“It is important that we cultivate a workforce necessary to meet the growing demands within the ICT industry,” added the PS.

Meru National Polytechnic principal, Engineer Stephen Rukaria, noted that embracing Competence Based Education and Training curriculum such as Huawei professional courses will ensure that the abilities learnt are relevant to the industry.

“As Huawei, we believe Kenya must have a skilled workforce empowered and equipped to take up new opportunities that new and emerging technologies will present as we work towards achieving a digital economy,” said the Deputy CEO, Huawei, Fiona Pan.

A report by the World Bank estimated that by 2030, about 230 million jobs in sub-Saharan Africa will require digital skills, and therefore it is critical for everyone to partake in the development and therefore take advantage of the opportunities bought about by the ever changing digital economy.

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