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South Africa Among The Top Winners At Huawei’s Global ICT Competition

A South African team has taken a top spot in the annual Huawei Global ICT Competition. The winning team included students and graduates from the University of Johannesburg (UJ), and the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN).

They progressed to the Global Final, held in Shenzhen, China, after competing among tens of thousands of students from across Sub Saharan Africa and globally. At the Grand Final, they were one of 146 teams from 36 countries and regions competing in the major prize categories. 

The Huawei ICT Competition is one of the largest ICT events in the world and is aimed at driving the development of ICT talent for industry growth and digital transformation.  Huawei sent 19 teams from 8 countries in Sub Saharan Africa, made up of 76 students, to the Global Final competition.

(10 teams for the Network track, 6 teams for cloud track, 2 teams for innovation track and 1 team for computing track, making it the region with the second-highest number of participants after China). 

Southern Africa teams at the Global Final Competition

Teams from South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria reached the top of the various categories of the competition. This showing is a milestone for the ICT Academy program in the Sub Saharan Africa region. 

Network Track Kenya, Algeria & UAE 

“I’m incredibly pleased by the strong showing of teams from Sub Saharan Africa at this year’s Global ICT competition,” says Huawei Southern Africa VP Yang Chen. “At Huawei, we’ve long been committed not only to providing leading and innovative connectivity solutions in the region, but also to nurturing its ICT talent and potential. The exceptional results achieved by the Sub Saharan Africa teams at the Global Final shows how justified that commitment has been.” 

In order to reach the Global Final, the South African team had to progress through national and regional finals. Neither of those is a small feat, given that 16,742 students from the Southern Africa region registered for the 2022-2023 ICT competition. 

South African team with Mr Hendricks from Cape Peninsula University of Technology

UKZN graduate and team leader Lutho Sigidi

UKZN graduate and team leader Lutho Sigidi believes that the lessons learned during the competition will be invaluable in his and his teammates’ future careers. 

“I knew that anything thrown at us during the competition was a lesson I will be able to apply throughout my entire career,” he says.

In particular, he says, being exposed to innovative new technologies and processes will have a significant payoff from a career perspective. 

“The calibre of technology and expertise at the competition has given me new insights into both the power of tech and the scenarios I’m likely to face in the workplace,” he says. “Having that kind of knowledge at the start of my career will prove incredibly beneficial.”    

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UJ student Terry-Anne Fredericks

For UJ student Terry-Anne Fredericks, even getting to the Global final was a massive achievement.  

“At the outset, I had literally no knowledge of networking engineering, so I had to start from scratch while also balancing my university studies,” she says. “The experience has taught me that anything is possible, especially if you give it your all.” 

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Team member Nqubeko Shabala, UKZN graduate

Team member Nqubeko Shabala, also a UKZN graduate, said that the experience had been eye-opening and very exciting. “The other contestants, instructors, and people we met were very cheerful and made the trip an even more enjoyable experience.” 

The Huawei ICT Competition gathers governments, higher educational institutions, training institutions, and industry enterprises, to promote the cultivation, growth, and employment of ICT young professionals from universities and colleges, helping the ICT talent ecosystem thrive.