Students from three Caribbean countries will participate in the 6th instalment of the 2021 Huawei Seeds for the Future ICT study programme.
A virtual opening ceremony for the 2021 cohort was held on Friday for the 29 participants from Jamaica, 20 participants from Trinidad and Tobago and five participants from Suriname, all of whom are university students. TT will be represented by students from UWI and the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT).
Ambassadors of the People's Republic of China Fang Qiu (TT), Tian Qi( Jamaica) and Han Jing (Suriname) collectively acknowledged their government’s role and investments to ICT and digital economy in the region.
Fang Qiu said information and communication technology (ICT) has become a driving force for social economic development as well as an important factor in achieving sustainable development around the world.
“China stands ready to boost its co-operation with other countries who share the benefits of technological development and progress.
“We are pleased to note the government of TT has placed attention on the ICT industry and is rigorously promoting digital transformation with the establishment of the Ministry of Digital Transformation," he said.
Fang Qui said China was also committed to implementing initiatives and would mobilise resources to help develop TT’s ICT industry and digital economy.
He added with the development of ICT, human resources should also be involved in upgrading and training to facilitate a shift.
“Human resources are a fundamental and critical factor to the long-term development of a country. The Seeds for the Future programme seeks to develop local ICT talent, enhance knowledge-sharing and improve people’s understanding and interest of the ICT industry,” Fand Qui said.
UWI St Augustine principal Prof Brian Copeland said despite the challenges of the covid19 pandemic, Huawei has shown the importance of technology in everyday life.
The programme, he pointed out, was designed to reveal the possibilities of technology, while giving students insight into China’s modern-day business dynamics and culture.
“Last year’s pivot to full online learning and teaching proves the point of this programme. And while modern technology could never replace the basic human need for face-to-face contact, technology has been the root to survival – personally, professionally and economically.
“Hands-on training in the latest technology, having people who can innovate as well as create, are critical commodities in realising the ICT component of a much bigger digital transformation process.”
UTT president Prof Prakash Persad added the programme presented a holistic development model for students ranging from leadership, communication, culture, technical learning and exposure to cutting-edge technologies.
The programme was launched in Thailand in 2008 and was brought to the region in 2016. Huawei Seeds for the Future ICT study programme has spread around the globe and is available in countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America and North America.
It will take place virtually, from October 25-November 1 and the Caribbean will be joined by students from Ghana.
Its objectives are to develop skilled local ICT talent and bridge communication between countries and cultures as well as encouraging regional building and participation in the digital community.