If you participated in the ICTforChange programme, sponsored by Huawei Technologies, this news will be very familiar to you. The Chinese Information and Technology firm has announced that the top 10 participants who make it to the grand finale will be trained in China.
The registration process began last year for university and polytechnic graduates of Electrical Electronics, Computer Science, Information and Communication Technology, Civil and Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Mathematics and other related courses, exclusively for intended participants between the ages of 18 and 30.
The ICTforChange programme is an empowerment initiative designed for university and polytechnic graduates by Huawei Technologies under the MoU it signed with the federal government to train Nigerian youths.
The examination took place at Huawei training centres in Lagos and Abuja. The selection process has almost come to an end and 40 participants have made it to the semi-final. The China training is free but short listed participants are to make provision for their accommodation and transportation.
This initiative which was launched last year, comes as one of President Mohammadu Buhari’s agenda to empower young Nigerians in the technology sector and also to create job opportunities in the country. The programme, like that of NITDA’s scholarship annual programme, drew participants from the 36 states of the federation, including the federal capital territory.
A spokesperson from the Chinese firm reiterated that the company is committed to meeting the end of the bargain. He said:
“In keeping to this pledge, Huawei has selected 10 students based on their performance and interview score to proceed for further training in China from September 4-17, 2017, while the remaining 10 shall be selected upon completion of the programme. The essence of which is to avail the students with practical knowledge and promote a greater understanding and interest in ICT.”
The spokesperson said further, that 1,345 youths had previously undergone trainings which took place at the firm’s training centres at Abuja and Lagos.
However, this initiative will end as a laudable project if the Chinese firm goes beyond providing trainings. Trainings without hands-on operations will be as good as having no ICT knowledge. NITDA trains 100 Nigerians annually in the UK but do little or nothing to ensure their engagement in hands on operations in the country, thereby defeating the whole idea of the program. The beneficiaries are often left to the claws of the jobless situation in the country.