After five months of grueling competition for the Middle East’s most promising students, the 2017 ICT Skill Competition has concluded.
It has been a long journey. Since the competition opened in August, over 10,285 students representing 121 educational institutions across 10 countries signed up for the event. Participants competed in real laboratory environments, where they tackled some of the industry’s most complex challenges in cloud computing, switching, routing, and other key ICT solutions and technologies.
Every student who participated has demonstrated passion and potential in the field of ICT. It was inspiring to see the future engineers and scientists of the Middle East devote themselves tirelessly to tackling the most intractable challenges in this cutting-edge field. The strength and discipline competitors built during the length of this journey will surely serve them as well as the technical skills they developed and the awards and recognition they received. The ICT Skill Competition has reaffirmed my belief that the Middle East has all the raw talent it needs to succeed in its digital transformation journey.
I had the pleasure of personally meeting the winning competitors in Shenzhen, China, where the finals took place. The top team was awarded USD 30,000 in cash prize, while the runner-ups received Excellence Prizes, and tutors and academies were recognized with Excellent Tutor and Excellent Academy Prizes.
The purpose of the ICT Skill Competition is to act as a bridge between the classroom and the workforce. For this reason we ensured that competitors had the opportunity to be exposed to Huawei’s team of global experts through a multitude of workshops during their time in Shenzhen. These include a Students Exhibition visit, a Future Tech workshop, and a visit to one of China’s top-ranked Universities, as well as seminars for the professors accompanying them. Competitors also had the chance to visit China’s cultural sites, notably a trip to the UNESCO office, and learn about China’s ancient history and tradition.
The team that placed first is from Lebanese University, and their months of hard work and dedication were recognized in a beautiful ceremony presided by Her Excellency Millia Jabbour, Lebanese Ambassador to China. Senior Huawei executives, representatives from participating countries’ embassies and consulates, and other high-level government executives also attended the ceremony to offer students their congratulations and discuss how Huawei and Middle East countries can continue to collaborate to further the progress of digitalization.
At Huawei, we recognize that investing in human capital is as important as investing in innovation and technology in order to achieve digital transformation. A technologically advanced workforce is a key factor in advancing government agendas for national development in the Middle East. It is a driving force behind the educational initiatives we have implemented globally, and regionally. Through partnerships with universities, internship programs, and the ICT Skill Competition, we hope to prepare the youth of today for the challenges of tomorrow.
The Competition has now concluded, but the hard work is only beginning. Competitors have returned to the Middle East, where the skills and knowledge they developed over the past months will serve them well as they play an integral role in the development of their nations. Huawei will be there every step of the way, working alongside government organizations, partners, and customers to Build A Better Connected World.