BEIRUT: Huawei has been a leading global provider of information and communication technology infrastructure and smart devices with over 180,000 employees in over 170 countries worldwide since 1987.
Known for their people-oriented projects and social responsibilities, for the third year in a row, Huawei has launched its annual Middle East ICT Competition in Lebanon.
The opening ceremony was held at the Phoenicia Hotel on Monday under the auspice of the Minister of Telecommunication, Mohammad Choucair, with the attendance of the Ambassador of People’s Republic of China in Lebanon, Wang Keijian, CEO of Huawei Levant Region, Mr. Paul Fengnan, Huawei Technologies PR & Government affairs director, Mohamad Sharara, in addition to many participant and previous winners.
Minister Choucair explained in his welcoming speech how this competition is essential and crucial for the young talented minds of Lebanon.
He said: “Investing in our people is thus a top priority as we aim to reap the benefits of the fourth industrial revolution. Our cooperation with those in the private sector is paramount to this aim, and we appreciate the efforts made by Huawei to help Lebanon’s young people prepare for promising careers in the ICT industry.”
The competition promotes innovation and creativity and acts as a bridge between the classroom and the workforce. It is part of Huawei’s wider talent development agenda to support Lebanon’s national ICT capabilities and the government’s priority to nurture a generation of leaders ready to drive digital transformation.
“The advancement of ICT knowledge in younger generations is key to the future prosperity of all nations” Fengnan explained, adding: “For many years now, Huawei has not only led the development of the industry in the frontiers of technologies such as 5G and cloud computing but has also invested heavily in the training of industry talent and building a talent ecosystem.”
The contestants of the competition will be tested in many fields of technology knowledge, including cloud computing, network security, switching, routing, and in the later stages, AI, Big Data, IoT, and 5G.
Consisting of three stages, the winners of the national level will travel to the international tech hub of Shenzhen, China, to compete in the regional final at the end of November. While in China, the national winners will have unrivaled exposure to Huawei’s expertise in telecommunications, enterprise, and consumer businesses in addition to cultural exchange.
Sharara explained how the ICT competition can impact the youth of Lebanon interested in the field of technology and data collection as “more than 40% of our demographic is below 25 years of age, the youth represent an irreplaceable role that supports and nurture the growth and evolution of the country.”
The Lebanese teams in 2017 and 2018 have won the first and second places regionally, and they have their eyes on the first place internationally for this year. On the regional level, over 14,000 students across the Middle East registered for the 2018 edition of the competition, from which nearly 5,000 attended. Over 200 students passed on to the national finals, and 39 traveled to China to compete internationally, representing 13 universities across the Middle East.
One of those applicants that have passed through to the final stage and returned home with the second place is Maria Khaled. Currently working in Huawei data and research, Khaled explained how the competition changed her life around.
“Because of this competition I now am an employed worker for Huawei and on behalf of Huawei on the talent ecosystem project that aims to cultivate talents that are portrayed in the competitions,” she told Annahar.
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