Internationally acclaimed Mobile Operator who were given the initial tender to digitize Zimbabwe, HUAWEI Technologies Zimbabwe (Pvt) Limited has expanded its Zimbabwe Seeds for the Future Programme as it fulfils its commitment to the Government regarding local capacity-building and skills transfer.
First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa is patron of the programme which at inception covered 10 students and has now increased to 30 students from various universities this year.
Speaking during the 2021 launch ceremony of the programme, the firm’s managing director Mr Chad Wei said Huawei Zimbabwe was committed to serving the interests of the nation through promoting the ICT industry and digital economy development with their advanced and cost-effective technology, while making maximum contributions to community and society development through capacity building, skills transfer and community social responsibility (CSR) programme.
“Huawei Zimbabwe, as the strategic partner to the Government of Zimbabwe in ICT sector, we have operated in Zimbabwe for more than 22 years since 1999. The Seeds for the Future is Huawei’s global flagship community CSR programme which was initiated to nurture ICT professionals, develop local ICT talent, enhance knowledge transfer and promote a greater understanding of the ICT sector among the youth in countries where the firm operates,” he said.
The firm runs the Zimbabwe Seeds for the Future programme in partnership with the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education.
Due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, Mr Chad said, this year’s Seeds for the Future Programme will be held virtually from 24 to 31 May 2021.
“The programme will offer them a rich experience involving technology classes, leadership classes, cultural experiences, an international corporate tour, and communication with peers and industrial leaders around the world. We expect the students to leverage this training program to have a thorough understanding of the ICT industry technology evolving trend and how the digital economy is reshaping the entire world,” he said.
Mr Chad said they realised that it was not enough for professionals to just tick all skills boxes without aligning with their culture and values; they should fit in with the national heritage and what the country stands for.
“Through the Angel of Hope Foundation and its cultural awareness campaign, the First Lady is championing the transfer of knowledge on cultural and traditional value systems. We are therefore honoured to have the First Lady as the patron of Zimbabwe Seeds for the Future programme. We thank the First Lady for coming up with the wonderful cultural awareness project and would like to join her in this noble venture by making a donation to the Angel of Hope Foundation together with our Embassy. I would like to leverage this opportunity to assure Her Excellency the First Lady that we would follow your leadership and do more of this in the future,” he said.
In her speech, the First Lady said she was passionate about improving and promoting the youth of this nation and was delighted to be with people who shared her enthusiasm for youth empowerment.
“I wish to thank Huawei for this great initiative. Over the last three years that I have been honoured to be part of this very important programme, I have learnt that information and communications technologies (ICTs) are crucial growth engines for many different industries. The young generation are key in the transformation of our economy, we must look into training the youth in ICT and human capital development for lasting expansion and progress in Zimbabwe.
“We live in a world of constant change and a world of competition and through most of these technologies we see today that everything is being done and concluded through virtual communication because of the covid-19 pandemic that the whole world never anticipated,” she said.
ICT, the First Lady said, improved engagement and knowledge retention and there was need for the ability to produce and use information effectively.
“However, in many of our academic programmes, there is a gap between the knowledge learned in the classroom and the skills that are necessary in the real world. Through the seeds for the future programme, Huawei helps resolve this problem. I acknowledge with gratitude this great opportunity of learning dual culture and technological advancement offered by the Huawei seeds for the future programme to talented ICT students from all over Zimbabwe. Huawei continues with this education programme because ICT will continue to be a significant part of our future as we get connected to more parts of our lives,” she said.
She said ICT was overall in all facets of life and this was the opportune time for people to be in the ICT programme which will promote students a greater understanding and interest in the ICT sector and provide opportunities to learn and apply the latest technologies in ICT.
“It will also open their minds to the vast opportunities in ICT that they can seize for economic transformation. I understand the participants will also be exposed to foreign cultural heritage and take part in tailored virtual visits to world-renowned historical sites in China, which resonates with the nhanga/gota/ixibha cultural awareness campaign that I am spearheading in Zimbabwe to fight harmful practices endangering social norms and values among youths and to protect the country’s future generation and build a responsible youth. This therefore proves that good behaviour is inherent in all humanity and subsequently global,” she said.
Through such initiatives, the First Lady said she had no doubt that the youth of Zimbabwe will be assured of a bright and a prosperous future, while also valuing tradition and culture.
“To the students I say, cherish this opportunity and take excellent memories and knowledge back to Zimbabwe and contribute to the county’s prosperity. With what you are learning we will not be ashamed as parents and as a nation to point that this is a boy, this is a girl we want in our country,” she said to the beneficiaries of the programme.
Wife to the Chinese Ambassador and Counsellor at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China to Zimbabwe Mrs Wang Wei praised the First Lady for spearheading various programmes to ease the plight on the needy and promote the country’s values.
“Through her organisation, the Angel of Hope Foundation, the First Lady initiated various empowerment projects and provided basic amenities to vulnerable and marginalised groups in different communities throughout Zimbabwe.
“Your Excellency, you have been working tirelessly to make sure Zimbabweans in need of help are well provided for and the Zimbabwean cultural norms and values strike a deep root. Your contribution to the wellbeing of ordinary Zimbabweans can never be overestimated,” she said as she also pledged the embassy’s donation to Angel of Hope Foundation.
Information Communication Technology and Courier Services Minister Jenfan Muswere implored students to fully embrace technology and innovation.
“This is in order to turnaround our economy. Over the last two decades we have developed viable ICT infrastructure to reinforce robust economic development in a sustainable manner. The Government and private institutions have developed a lot of infrastructure as well in partnership with Huawei technology which has contributed immensely to this modern ICT revolution. One of the key challenges we are facing in growing the ICT sector is the lack of skilled ICT professionals. It is therefore pleasing to note that Huawei Technology Zimbabwe (Pvt) Limited has made supporting skills development one of their key priorities for building a better connected Zimbabwe,” he said.
Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira praised Huawei’s decision to assist local students while Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa who was represented by her deputy Kindness Paradza also commended Huawei for its involvement in a number of projects in the country.