With digital technologies becoming the building blocks of the Pakistan’s intelligent society—and increasingly important during the COVID-19 pandemic and post-pandemic recovery—Huawei is once again touching on an important driver of the digital transformation journey; nurturing ICT talent. The company runs the 4th edition of its flagship annual Middle East ICT Competition in Pakistan to support preparing the next generation of leaders for an intelligent world.
This year’s competition is being held in partnership with the Higher Education Commission in Pakistan. Due to the restrictions placed by Covid-19, what were once traditional roadshows have been substituted by virtual roadshows, as well as awareness sessions — the first of which was conducted at Sukkur IBA, followed by Iqra University, and then Mehran University of Engineering and Technology. Both university professors, and executives from Huawei Pakistan were in attendance.
So far, around 300 students have participated in these sessions, with more virtual roadshows planned at universities throughout Pakistan till the first week of November by Huawei team and its learning partners. 30+ universities are expected to be virtually visited before the roadshows come an end.
Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Sukkur IBA, Dr. Irshad Nazeer, spoke about the importance of these roadshows, “The event was very beneficial for students as they were motivated towards skilled based learning and global competition. This sort of initiative from Huawei has always helped our students and faculty on the path of Industry Academia Linkage.”
Mr. Shahzad Akbar from Channel Service of Huawei Pakistan further added, “I have been part of this ICT competition since it began in 2016 and I have seen how it has changed lives of students. Initiatives like these can act as a platform to teach the youngsters about the power of ICT and excite them about this booming industry, this competition will help tap into the potential of the rising generation and empower you to lead the development of Pakistan’s ICT industry.”
Huawei annually invites students from colleges and universities all around Pakistan to participate in the ICT competition, in order to promote ICT technology certifications, transfer ICT knowledge, and develop the local ICT industry ecosystem.As a perk of participation in the competition, Huawei offers all participants access to free courses and learning materials, as well as opportunities for free online exchanges, learning, and preparation.
This year will also see the introduction of the Huawei Innovation Competition, held in parallel to the ICT Competition. It focuses on supporting undergraduate students and teachers in using innovative technologies such as AI, cloud computing, and big data to create valuable and meaningful applications for society. Huawei has invited universities and colleges across the Middle East to participate in the new Innovation Competition, with a total of ten teams to be selected for the regional final this year.
Winners of the regional competitions will receive a certification, future learning opportunities, a USD$20,000 cash prize, exam vouchers, Huawei mobile and more.This version of the competition was first conceived in 2016, and was designed for the betterment of students, not just domestic, but globally.
Last year, 12,000+ students from across Pakistan applied for the Middle East ICT Competition from leading colleges and universities. The competition was supported by ministries, various ambassadors, and academic chancellors from some of Pakistan’s top-ranking universities. Two teams traveled to China to compete at Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen, China, where they came in second and third places in the Global Final; a great accomplishment on an international scale.
The current aim is to provide an international competitive and communication-based platform for Huawei ICT Academy and college students who wish to become a part of these ICT academies; this would enable an increase in students’ ICT knowledge, improve their practice and application skills, as well as spread innovation awareness. While all these things are being achieved, the competition has become an international talent exchange and cooperation platform alongside these successes. The future of a Digital Pakistan remains within reach.