Minister: Huawei ICT graduates can help transform country

Huawei's ICT initiative Seeds for the Future participants. - Huawei
Huawei's ICT initiative Seeds for the Future participants. - Huawei

Minister in the Ministry of Public Administration and Digital Transformation Hassel Bacchus said the government will need the assistance of people trained in Information Communication and Technology (ICT) to move forward with its digital transformation initiatives.

Bacchus was speaking at the graduation ceremony for Huawei’s Seeds for the Future ICT education initiative on Monday.

A total of 20 students graduated from this year’s programme. They were chosen from the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the University of TT (UTT). While students in years past had the opportunity to visit Huawei headquarters in China, this year’s class was unable to travel owing to the covid19 pandemic and instead attended virtual classes.

Bacchus said it was important for the graduating students to see things from a global perspective. “Think in the global space to what this (programme) can lead to for TT.”

He said he understood the student’s disappointment at not having the opportunity to visit China this year, where he has visited twice.

Speaking on behalf of her class was Rebecca Gibbon, one of this year’s participants. She said while her classmates were upset about not being able to travel to China, they were still appreciative of the experience gained in the field.

She said she hoped the knowledge of Chinese technology culture gained through the programme will help them move the country forward.

TT Chamber of Commerce CEO Gabriel Faria said students are in a “very exciting time.” He said while other industries are struggling to cope with the effects of covid19, technology industries are thriving. “Nowhere in the world is the training you underwent more relevant (than here),” he said.

The Seeds for the Future programme was launched in TT in 2016 and since then over 50 TT nationals have participated from both UWI and UTT. It aims to develop knowledge of ICT that can in turn be used to support the government’s effort to digitise TT. This was the first year the programme was held entirely online.

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