Huawei has announced the commencement of its LEAP digital skills development program on April 9, 2022, at Huawei’s ICT Competition Awards Ceremony. According to the Chinese tech conglomerate, the LEAP program intends to help enhance the ICT skills of more than 100,000 people across Sub-Saharan Africa in three years.
LEAP (Leadership, Employability, Advancement, and Possibilities) aims to establish strong digital leadership and a professional ICT workforce and build a digital talent pool and promote digital literacy among citizens. It encompasses various activities, from ICT training and certification courses to government digital capacity building and ICT skill competitions.
Huawei Southern Africa President, Leo Chen, launched the LEAP program, emphasizing the importance of ICT skills transfer and talent development and emphasizing Huawei’s consistent emphasis on it.
According to the firm, Huawei has helped more than 80,000 people in Sub-Saharan Africa enhance their ICT abilities over the last two decades. As a result, it claims to have increased youth employability and bridged the gender gap in the ICT industry. Huawei is a preferred employer in the region. In 2021, its subsidiaries in nine Sub-Saharan African nations were awarded the Top Employer seal.
The pandemic, according to Huawei, has accelerated digital adoption across Africa. As a result, there is a greater need for more digital skills and talent. Over 230 million jobs in Sub-Saharan Africa would require digital skills by 2030, according to a World Bank research on Digital Skills in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The 2021-2022 Huawei ICT Competition drew over 15 000 students from over 200 institutions and colleges in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nigerian and Kenyan teams won first place in the regional final out of 48 competing teams. The second place was won by teams from Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria, and Tanzania.
A Top Performance Prize was awarded to the South African team that finished in the top ten of the 2021 Huawei Global Tech4Good Competition for inventing an intrusion detection system that leverages wireless and cloud technologies to combat rhino poaching.
According to Huawei, the Huawei ICT competition has developed into the largest of its type in Africa and around the world. It provides a global platform for students to demonstrate and practice their ICT knowledge and abilities. Over the previous five years, 80,000 African university students have registered for the tournament, and more than 20 teams have advanced to the world finals.
The LEAP initiative will be implemented due to the company’s commitment to the region, with over 1,200 instructors facilitating 3,000 ICT courses.
It will also provide funding for various facilities such as training centres, hardware installation bases, innovation hubs, mirror labs, and ICT academies. Huawei presently operates ICT academies at over 300 universities and colleges.
Leo Chen also urged for strong collaboration between government, industry, and academics at the ceremony to build an ecosystem in which everyone can participate and profit.