Chinese tech giant Huawei is eyeing nurturing aspiring young Ethiopian technology talent, said Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Ji Hui at Huawei Northern Africa region, Wednesday.
Speaking exclusively to Xinhua, Ji said Huawei is nurturing Ethiopian tech talent that can add value to the east African country’s economy through innovative technology solutions.
Ji was speaking on the sidelines of the sixth Global Huawei ICT competition Ethiopia edition, which annually brings the brightest brains and most innovative ideas from across Ethiopia and the wider globe.
The winners among 170,000 student participants from more than 40 countries around the world will have the opportunity to represent their country in the 2022 Huawei ICT competition global finals.
The Huawei ICT young talent program is part of the Chinese tech giant’s global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities.
“This is the third round of competition for Ethiopia. This is the first year we introduced the innovation track, previously we cared more about the knowledge competition, but this year we added more elements of innovation, basically what you can do to add value to the economy and to the ICT industry,” Ji told Xinhua. “We’ve previously sent more than 30 students from Ethiopia to China for two-week training programs, to help turn their technological ideas into realities.”
Ji praised the increasing presence of young Ethiopian women aspirants in Huawei’s annual ICT competition.
The CFO for Huawei Northern Africa region also disclosed the Chinese tech giant is committed to deepening its involvement in Ethiopia’s ICT sector, now that Ethiopia has started to liberalize its telecom sector.
“The Ethiopian government can help the economy to have more growth momentum besides traditional ways of boosting growth,” Ji said. “The Ethiopia Ministry of Finance recent granting of a new license to telecom operators will boost the number of private ICT firms in the east African country which has a large young population and is also a huge marketplace.”
On Saturday, Ethiopia awarded the country’s first telecom license to a Vodacom Group Consortium which had offered US$850M license fee.
Ethiopia’s telecom industry is considered as a huge untapped market, as the east African country has the second highest number of population in Africa, only surpassed by Nigeria.
Ethiopia is also undertaking extensive telecom modernization services with the help of Chinese firms as part of the east African country’s aim of realizing digital inclusion and boosting the size of its digital economy, with the provision of reliable, high band-width and high-speed telecom services.