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Huawei launches UNZA academy to promote ICT skills development

Vice Chancellor of the University of Zambia, Professor Luke Evuta Mumba and Huawei Technologies Zambia country director Emilion Ming sign the agreement for the Huawei Authorised Network Academy (HANA)

Huawei Technologies Zambia has joined with the University of Zambia to set up a new academy to improve the standard of information and communications technology (ICT) skills in the country.

The Huawei Authorised Network Academy (HANA) was officially opened today (April 13) by Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary for Special Duties Felix Phiri on behalf of Secretary to the Cabinet Dr Roland Msiska in an event also attended by Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy, Mr Ouyang Daobing, Vice Chancellor of the University of Zambia, Professor Luke Evuta Mumba, and representatives from the University of Zambia and Huawei.

“As government, we are pleased that Huawei’s strategy in this academy is aligned with our vision to create more jobs for local people. Thus, this initiative strengthens our resolve to create opportunities that will help us build a stronger economy anchored on smart Zambia transformation agenda through adopting new technologies,” said Dr Msiska in a speech read on his behalf by Mr Phiri

“The private sector bemoans the lack of real world class skills of those coming out of institutions of higher learning, complaining that young graduates do not have the hands-on experience necessary to apply themselves on the job. All these issues affect the quality of education and the students these institutions produce – ultimately affecting the development of our country,” he added.

“The establishment of the academy falls in line with governments ICT human development roadmap which hope to ultimately develop local skills to achieve a knowledge and innovation driven economy. Government has identified education as a means through which ICT skills can be developed and nurtured, and therefore this academy has come at a right time as it will create vital human resource to drive our national ICT development agenda.”

Huawei’s initiative, launched in partnership with University of Zambia (UNZA), adopts the university-enterprise cooperation model that supports solution features cooperation with universities for course development, training and certification.

“We have been connecting Zambia with innovative ICT technologies for more than 13 years against all odds but we will still continue. Through the joint efforts between Huawei and the government of Zambia and local partners, we are glad to see that more than 80 percent of Zambian people are being connected by Huawei’s ICT technologies, enjoying the convenience of a digital world,” said Thomas Hu, Huawei Technologies Zambia Incoming Managing Director.

The newly launched academy will accommodate training-the-trainer programmes that will help UNZA to support ICT trainers to familiarise themselves with ICT industry practices and promote professional development in universities.

The academy The ICT practice centre at UNZA includes wireless, transmission, solar power and optical fibre equipment, enabling students to receive practical hands-on experience to enhance their ICT capabilities.
Speaking at the launch, Mr Hu said the academy was important for transfer of ICT skills.

“ICT has become the enabler of the digital world and it drives the social- economy of every country. The global connectivity Index a study produced by Huawei concludes that a 20 percent increase in ICT investment will expand the GDP of a country by 1 percent,” he said.

The academy offers authorised ICT courses aimed to help UNZA optimize curriculum and teaching content, accelerate development of subjects and ensure competence of graduates.

Through the academy initiative, the ICT solution provider hopes to support local ICT education and create more opportunities for individuals. Mr Hu added: “We believe this program is in line with our smart Zambia program to enhance the empowerment and skills transfer of ICT talent in Zambia.”

Under the initiative 8 ICT lectures were trained to enable them facilitate with ICT industry practices and five have been awarded ICT certificates. In addition, the program has set US$17,500 scholarship program in UNZA this year for top five students to encourage their study in university.

Source: Langmead & Baker