by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – INFORMATION and Communications Technology skills development is critical for South Africa to participate in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and reap the benefits of a digital economy.
This was the consensus of various speakers at Huawei South Africa’s ICT Talent Development annual awards ceremony at its Woodmead campus.
“The ICT sector is growing fast and we must respond to its needs, especially when it comes to the future workforce,” said Huawei Director of South Africa Enterprise Business, Zhang Yi.
The Huawei ICT Academy is designed to bridge the gap between the skills demand of enterprises and the supply from schools.
“Huawei hopes to provide more technical and skillful talent, more advanced technologies and more emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship to support the sustainable development of South Africa’s ICT industry,” Yi said.
The event this week celebrated the higher education partner institutions and facilitators of the Huawei ICT Academy Programme.
This was established to identify, cultivate, and develop the best talent through collaboration between industry, educational institutions, and the public sector.
Dr Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, noted that the imperatives of 4IR required drastic digital transformation and skills development to support a digital economy.
“Digital transformation cannot happen without skills acquisition,” the minister said.
He delivered a keynote address at the event.
The department has identified significant skills gaps in the digital economy in areas such as cloud architecture, cyber security, data science, blockchain, machine learning, and robotic automation.
“The skills provided through initiatives such as Huawei’s ICT Academy are part of the future of South Africa as we’ll need lots of people who have acquired different levels of skills in order for the entire country to reap the benefits of 4IR,” Nzimande added.
Through the ICT Academy Programme, Huawei has partnered with 72 academies in South Africa to provide training, development, and internationally accredited certification to instructors and students across the country.
More than 150 instructors have participated in the Instructor Training Programme, more than 3 500 students participated in online training programmes and almost 5 000 students enrolled in this year’s ICT competition.
Huawei has developed more than 1 500 ICT Academies across the globe, with more than 3 000 instructors certified and more than 125 000 students cultivated yearly.
Huawei has also developed the Graduate Institute of South Africa as the first Academy Support Centre and 40 Huawei Clubs from various institutions.
– CAJ News