Rwanda through the Ministry of Education has signed a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Huawei Technologies Company Limited, a multinational technology corporation headquartered in Shenzhen, China, to establish two ICT academies in the country.
For the first time, Huawei academies will be established at the University of Rwanda and Rwanda polytechnic, according to the terms of agreement in the MoU.
The agreement signed in Kigali City on October 28, targets nurturing the future local technology experts in the country. The cooperation also flagged off training for 2021 academic intake of 30 students who will attend training virtually.
“As new technologies such as 5G rise, there is a general need to reform existing ones and focus on the new so that we keep up with the times. This starts by reforming traditional teaching content to guarantee that it relates to industry practices,” Claudette Irere, State Minister in charge of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) schools said.
“I believe those who take part will make Rwanda proud as you interact, participate and share knowledge with other students,” Irere added.
She urged students dubbed ‘seeds for the future’ to create networks that will further their ambitions in life.
Also, the cooperation aims to provide Rwandan students with the latest ICT technologies and knowledge, but also develop professionals that can meet the requirements of customers and partners from Huawei’s industry chain.
The partnership agreement was signed by Irere, Prof Alexandre Lyambabaje, Vice Chancellor of the University of Rwanda, Dr. James Gashumba, Vice Chancellor of Rwanda Polytechnic and Tonni Yang Shengwan, Country Director of Huawei in Rwanda.
“With the Huawei ICT academy in Rwanda, we aim to connect universities with industry to gain new insight into new technology trends, to open our doors for universities and students to access latest technologies and Huawei online learning resources and enhance student career competitiveness and employment rate among others,” Shengwan said.
“We shall train and certify more than 1000 Rwanda students and professionals in the coming years with our recognized ICT professional courses. So, we request all universities in Rwanda to open doors for us,” Shengwan added.
The Seeds for the future program in Rwanda started in 2018 and over 15 Rwandan students have gone to China up to 2019. Since 2020, the program was shifted online and since then the number of students pursuing the course has reportedly tripled.
This year’s seed for the future online training program has attracted 30 students from the University of Rwanda, Rwanda Polytechnic and others were reportedly recruited from the Ministry of ICT.
This eight-day virtual training consists of three-hour pre-recorded courses and 13 hours of live stream in technology entry level and advanced sessions such as 5G and computer Clouding.
Students will also pursue courses including cyber security, visiting Huawei exhibition halls for practicals, among others.
According to Dr. Gashumba, students will also travel to China for their studies and internships in the future, upon reopening borders for the international students.
“At the comment, we agreed to give Huawei company classrooms, they will also bring their teachers. The first phase will start next month, they will start by training our teachers who will also become trainers in the future. In the period of three years, we expect to get experts who will train our students locally,” Dr. Gashumba said.
“The first step is getting as many local experts as possible, the issue of selecting students in academies is a pending issue to be discussed by the partners,” Dr. Gashumba added.