Young talents shine at Huawei ICT Competition’s ME&CA finals

Teams from Pakistan, Qatar and Kazakhstan won grand prizes
The Huawei ICT Competition is the most important information and communication technologies initiative in the Middle East and Central Africa

Huawei successfully concluded its Huawei ICT Competition 2023-2024 Middle East & Central Asia (ME&CA) finals on December 21, 2023, at the University of Bahrain. The tech giant recognized the skills and innovative spirit of the region’s young information and communication technologies (ICT) talents.

Teams from Pakistan, Qatar and Kazakhstan bagged the grand prize in the Network, Cloud and Computing tracks, respectively. First, second and third prize winners were also declared. 

The Huawei ICT Competition was held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, His Majesty the King’s representative for Humanitarian Work and Youth Affairs. It was also in partnership with Bahrain’s Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunication and the University of Bahrain. 

Huawei ICT competition

Huawei ICT Competition regional finals

Supported by UNESCO and over 20 ministries and industry partners, the Huawei ICT competition attracted over 27,500 students from more than 600 universities in 21 ME&CA countries. It marked the highest participation in the competition’s history, which began in 2017.

Before the regional finals, participants battled it out in four-month-long national-level contests. Regional qualifiers were in Bahrain from December 19 to 21, taking part in exams, field trips and workshops. In the culminating event, 66 students and 20 tutors, divided into 22 teams, emerged as winners. They will proceed to the global finals in China, scheduled for May 2024.

Prince Nasser and Steven Yi, president of Huawei ME&CA, handed out the trophies. In addition to the prizes, all regional finalists were offered internship opportunities at their respective countries’s Huawei offices.

Through the Huawei ICT Competition, students receive training in advanced technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence and cloud computing. Students also have the opportunity to learn directly from Huawei experts about the latest in ICT and global trends. Additionally, they get practical training at Huawei’s advanced labs and research centers.

Huawei ICT competition

Read: Huawei: Leading the next phase of 5G advances in the GCC

Shared vision for ICT

Since 2017, the event has become the largest and most influential ICT initiative in ME&CA. The competition signifies an intensified effort to bridge the academe and the professional ICT environment.

During the awarding ceremony, Prince Nasser shared, “We commissioned the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Youth Affairs, the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Education three years ago to examine ways to reskill our youth, and we made it clear to our ministers that we in the military place great emphasis on lifelong training and education.”

“I wanted to promote participants and improve their skills. I wanted high-intensity, high-impact, competitive training camps to help gain new skills, assess abilities objectively and be ready to tackle new challenges and opportunities,” added His Highness.

Commenting on Bahrain’s partnership with Huawei, he remarked, “I was very pleased when Huawei was one of the first companies to respond to this vision and to introduce to us the Middle East and Central Asia competition, which was aligned with our direction. This is a fantastic start to an excellent long-term collaboration between the private sector and the public sector in preparing our youths for their future.”

Meanwhile, Yi recognized the importance of honing ICT talents. 

“Developing ICT talent is essential for the continued development of digital economies across the Middle East and Central. At Huawei, we’re cognizant that the digital skills gap affects national economies and individual lives, and we’ve activated a number of ICT talent development programs and initiatives, including our successful Huawei ICT Competition,” he enthused.

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