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Seeds for the Future 2021 programme: Empowering youths for sustainable development

First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa (C) flanked by Mrs Wang Wei, Wife of the Chinese Ambassador and Counsellor at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China to Zimbabwe and Huawei official

The Seed for the Future Programme is a platform for training the youth in ICT and human capital development for lasting expansion and progress in Zimbabwe, First Lady, Honourable Mrs. Auxilia Mnangagwa has said.

She made the remarks today during the launch ceremony for Seeds for the Future 2021 – an annual programme executed with the aim of empowering and enlightening the youth of Zimbabwe. This initiative is made possible through the generous donation of the Chinese Embassy and Huawei to The Angel of Hope Foundation, a brainchild of Mrs. Mnangagwa.

“Over the last three years that I have been honoured to be part of this very important program, I have learnt that information and communications technologies (ICT’s) are crucial growth engines for many different industries. Because the young generation is 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,” Mrs. Mnangagwa said.

Dr. Jenfan Muswere, the Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services said Zimbabwe has identified a digital economy as one of the priorities in the attainment of an upper-middle-income economy by the year 2030. Huawei Seeds for the future is, therefore,  a game-changer in terms of human capital development.

In its quest to become an advanced digitally propelled nation by the year 2030, Zimbabwe has developed and adopted the Smart Zimbabwe master plan blueprint that will enable it to fully utilize technology and innovation in order to turn around the economy. Over the last two decades, the country has also developed viable Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure to reinforce robust economic development in a sustainable manner. The Government and private institutions have developed a lot of infrastructure in partnership with Huawei Technologies which has contributed immensely to this modern ICT revolution.

One of the key challenges the country is facing in growing the ICT sector is the lack of a large pool of skilled ICT professionals.

“It is therefore pleasing to note that Huawei Technologies Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd. has made supporting skills development one of their key priorities for Building a Better Connected Zimbabwe. I am reliably informed that Huawei Technologies have developed a number of frameworks that seek to strengthen their relationships with Universities and students and help promote ICT talent development. The frameworks include the Huawei ICT Academy, Huawei ICT Talent Ecosystem, and Huawei Seeds for the Future programs,” Minister Muswere said.

 

Institutions of Higher Learning are partnering with Huawei to become Huawei ICT Academies, and to offer professional ICT Certifications in courses such as Routing and Switching, Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, and many more. Huawei is also training and certifying instructors.

 

Through its Corporate Social Responsibility program, the Huawei ICT Talent Ecosystem is providing a wide range of high-quality ICT online courses for free during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that instructors of Huawei ICT Academies and students have the opportunity to continue getting exposure to the latest ICT technologies. I commend Huawei Technologies for this initiative.

 

“The Seeds for the Future programme is a global flagship corporate social responsibility program whose main aim is to cultivate local ICT professionals. This is done by offering undergraduate ICT students training on ICT technologies and PRACTICAL experience. In this way, the programme will cultivate local ICT talent, promote knowledge transfer, and improve the students’ interest and understanding of the telecommunications industry.

 

“The Seeds for the Future programme is in line with our ministry’s digitization strategy and our mission to provide an efficient national information communication technology delivery framework and maintain national cybersecurity. The program helps cultivate and pool together ICT professionals and students, thus boosting ICT industry growth, driving the development of different sectors, and contributing to lower unemployment rates over the long term,” Dr Muswere added.

The Huawei Seeds for the Future programme bridges the gap between the knowledge learned in the classroom and the skills that are necessary in the real world.

Mr Chad Wei, the Managing Director of Huawei Technologies Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd said Huawei Technologies was founded in 1987 and has grown to be the global leading supplier of ICT infrastructure and smart devices.

“We have around 200,000 employees. We operate in more than 170 countries, and we are serving more than three billion people around the world. Huawei Zimbabwe, as the strategic partner to the government of Zimbabwe in the ICT sector, we have operated in Zimbabwe for more than 22 years since 1999.

“In our culture, we have a very famous proverb saying that when you drink the water from a well, don’t forget the people that dug it. We appreciate the continuous support from the Government of Zimbabwe and the Chinese Embassy. And it is also our premium target to be the main contributor to the long-standing friendship between Zimbabwe and China. Huawei Zimbabwe is committed to serving the interest of the nation through our two main missions. The first one is to promote the ICT industry and digital economy development in Zimbabwe with our advanced and cost-effective technology; the second is to make maximum contributions to the community and societal development through our capacity building, skills transfer and CSR program,” Mr. Chad said.

Mrs. Wang Wei, Wife of the Chinese Ambassador and Counsellor at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China to Zimbabwe lauded the Angel of Hope Foundation led by Mrs. Mnangagwa for initiating various empowerment projects and providing basic amenities to vulnerable and marginalised groups in different communities throughout Zimbabwe.

She cited the traditional meal cook-out competition, breakfast feeding program, grocery donations, and cultural programs by the First Lady as vehicles to make sure that Zimbabwean cultural norms and values strike a deep root.

“In addition to being a caring mother, you have also been a fearless fighter against the Covid-19 pandemic. As the nation’s Health and Child Care Ambassador, you are leading from the front by increasing awareness, giving out PPEs, being among the earliest to be vaccinated, and encouraging others to embrace the vaccination program. Your contribution to the well-being of ordinary Zimbabweans can never be overestimated.

“The Chinese Embassy is honored to have been part of your important advocacy work over the years by donating in cash and in-kind to the ordinary Zimbabweans. We thank you for giving us such a great platform to care for Zimbabweans in difficulties. And the Embassy is also taking the initiative to expand its own humanitarian programs. We spruced up orphanages, donated food hampers to children with disabilities, provided scholarships for university students, and handed out PPEs to schools.”

 

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende