Saturday, November 24, 2018

Chinese IT giant to provide $2m for ICT talent programme

Funds will help promot­e study of advanc­ed techno­logies, increa­se IT export­s

Funds will help promote study of advanced technologies, increase IT exports. PHOTO: FILE

Funds will help promote study of advanced technologies, increase IT exports. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Chinese information technology giant Huawei Technologies will provide up to $2 million for the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Talent Development Programme designed to promote the study of advanced technologies through research and development work and help Pakistan step up IT-related exports.

According to experts, Pakistan’s 60% population is below 30 years of age and the IT sector has a huge potential to provide them with job opportunities and increase overall exports which have remained stagnant at around $24 billion in the past five years.

According to data compiled by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the export of IT and IT-related services went up to $1.067 billion in financial year 2017-18 compared with $939 million in the previous year, registering a double-digit growth of 13%.

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Huawei Technologies Pakistan (Private) Limited have been working together for the past 10 years and have undertaken various initiatives for the promotion of ICT in Pakistan.

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Of the 10,000 university students from across the country, 171 passed the Huawei Certified Network Associate (HCNA) certification examination and the top 150 appeared in the National Final Exam in Huawei’s 3rd Information and Communication Technology Competition 2018.

Top six students representing Pakistan, who were from the University of Engineering and Technology Lahore, Pak-Aims University, Lahore Leads University and Virtual University, along with Huawei-certified trainers reached the Huawei headquarters in Shenzhen, China for the international finals.

They are competing for $30,000 worth of cash and other prizes including job opportunities and scholarships. The final competition will be held on November 24 (today) and results will be announced on November 25.

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The cabinet, in a recent meeting, was informed that in order to extend and strengthen collaboration Huawei Technologies and the HEC had drafted a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the ICT Talent Development Programme.

Under this programme, Huawei will provide funds of up to $2 million under the Huawei Authorise Information and Network Academy (HAINA) for 30 universities, certification vouchers and seed funding for future programmes.

It will also finance scholarships to Pakistani students, skill development programmes and help in transforming and digitalising the education sector using latest technologies for equal access and quality education across the country through e-class rooms and cloud initiatives.

The Economic Affairs Division pointed out in the cabinet meeting that the MoU between Huawei Technologies and the HEC was an agreement with a company incorporated in Pakistan without any assistance from a foreign donor. After the discussion, the cabinet allowed the Ministry of Education to decide the matter at its own level.


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