BEIRUT: No matter how you look at it, tomorrow’s world will revolve around technology. From smart homes to digital government services, autonomous vehicles to space travel, our society will revolve around intelligent systems that rely upon the latest communications networks. Today’s youth need to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to not only navigate a hyper-connected environment, but to become its architects, pioneers, and leaders.
Around the region, countries have established promising national plans and ambitious visions that emphasize the role technology has to play in empowering all sectors and industries, in addition to realizing economic diversification and societal development. Take the Lebanon Economic Vision, for example, and it’s clear to see the instrumental role technology has in moving nations towards ambitious goals of increased global competitiveness, sustainability, community empowerment and more.
A visionary framework, however, needs talented individuals to push it forwards into reality. Today’s regional workforce, however, does not yet have sufficient digital talent to meet future needs. There must, therefore, be an increased focus on incorporating the necessary technology and innovation-based education into today’s curriculums in order to bridge the digital divide and achieve, sustain, and propel a digitally-driven and enabled society in which every person, home and organization is fully connected.
ICT has become a crucial growth engine for society and many different industries. Lebanon’s information and communication technology (ICT) sector is fast-growing; in 2017, it contributed USD1.4 billion to the national GDP, with the expectation to have a GDP impact – direct or indirect – of more than USD7 billion by 2025 . Growth of this size will require talented ICT professionals, both to drive and sustain it for years to come.
As a leading global ICT solution provider, we are committed to promoting ICT industry development and ecosystem in the countries we operates in, aimed at driving long-term economic, social, and environmental sustainability. Huawei believes that access to education is vital to create opportunities that support fair and sustainable development in ME countries. Therefore, our ICT Talent Ecosystem strategy supported by global CSR initiatives largely focus on education and knowledge transfer.
An Open, Collaborative, and Sustainable ICT Ecosystem Enables Digital Transformation. As part of the overall ICT Ecosystem, Huawei's talent ecosystem aims to bridge the digital divide, develop local ICT talent, and fulfill corporate social responsibilities. Across the ICT ecosystem there is an urgent need for large numbers of technical staff who can address the challenges posed by this transformation. There are still not enough ICT professionals in the ICT domain. The mismatch between talent supply and demand hinders social progress. The gap between the knowledge learned in the classroom and the skills that are necessary in the real world needs to be addressed. Therefore, the pool of skilled personnel should be provided opportunities to learn and apply the latest technologies. Through the Seeds for the Future program, Huawei helps resolve these problems.
Huawei’s ICT Competition is just one example. An initiative designed to nurture local talent within the field of information and communications technology (ICT), Huawei has worked for the past two years with government authorities, colleges and universities across the Middle East to identify, support, and grow future ICT leaders.
2019 sees the third regional edition of the Huawei ICT Competition, which seeks to increase national ICT competitiveness and enhance students’ future employment opportunities by working to bridge the gap between the classroom and the workplace. It encourages knowledge sharing on the latest ICT developments, international trends, and offers hands-on skill development training at Huawei’s state of the art labs, R&D centers and facilities. Furthermore, national winners from each participating country will receive an immersion opportunity in a global ICT company’s headquarters in Shenzhen, China, in addition to certificates and cash prizes. Select candidates are offered employment at Huawei, where they can further their ICT understanding amongst some of the world’s finest scientists and engineers.
The competition does more than just develop current talent; it has the potential to inspire generations of future science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals who will drive innovation and continued evolution of revolutionary technologies such as 5G, the Internet of Things, and whatever lies beyond. It contributes towards the ICT Talent Ecosystem that Huawei aspires to establish, which will cater to the knowledge-intensive requirements of the industry – which is heavily reliant upon talent resources that, at present, do not exist in sufficient quantity to sustain the growth of a flourishing sector.
Through the ICT Competition, Huawei hopes to play a part in creating an environment of openness, collaboration and shared success, which will extend beyond borders to nurture a more successful and cohesive future for connectivity on a nationwide and, indeed, global scale in the years and decades to come. It is an embodiment of our strong belief in building the ICT ecosystem, encouraging knowledge and experience transfer, while bridging the digital divide and promoting digital inclusion. We do this to support governments in achieving their goals of creating the future ICT leaders who will responsible for achieving national targets and visions, and who will ultimately build a diversified and sustainable knowledge-based economy.
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