RIYADH — Two teams of three students from Saudi Arabia walked away with Excellence Prizes at Huawei’s International ICT Skill Competition finals and award ceremony in Shenzhen, China this week. The winners were selected following a grueling 5 months of qualifying rounds that saw participation from 13 teams across 10 countries in the Middle East. Several Saudi institutions were honored at the event, including the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation, which was recognized as Excellent Partner, and Princess Nourah Bint Abudulrahman University, which won an award for Excellent Academy.
The final leg of the journey brought 13 finalist teams to China, which included 15 female students from the region. The finalists competed in daylong finals, participated in a technology workshop by global ICT experts, witnessed a high-level panel discussion by senior delegates from eight Middle East countries to China, and were invited to attend the ICT Talent Cultivation Summit.
The award ceremony was attended by senior Huawei executives, including Ms. Chen Lifang, corporate senior vice president of Huawei Technologies, Simon Lacey, vice president of Huawei Global Government Affairs Department, and Charles Yang, president of Huawei Middle East. Fahad Alshareef, KSA Cultural counselor to China, delivered the award to the winning team on stage, in the presence of other senior representatives from participating countries’ embassies and consulates. Other high-ranking government officials at the event included Ding Lianpu, director of the Center for China-Foreign People-to-People Exchanges in China’s Ministry of Education, and Professor Zhao Jianhua, deputy director for the International Center for Higher Education Innovation at UNESCO.
In addition to a $30,000 cash prize for the most outstanding team, Huawei awarded certificates, trophies, and prizes to two runner-up teams and three third place teams. The next seven teams received Excellence Prizes, while six tutors and five academic institutions received the Excellent Tutor and Best Academy Prizes. But more importantly, the all-expense paid trip gave the finalists invaluable exposure to a leading global company’s expertise and a priceless cultural experience.
“Building a pool of high quality ICT talent is a critical success factor for governments aiming to transition to knowledge-based economies. As one of the world’s leading innovators, knowledge-transfer has always a core pillar of the Huawei ethos. Combining this with our commitment to support governments in the region as they work towards achieving their national vision goals, we are proud of the ICT Skill Competition and all that it has achieved over the past five months. The platform has demonstrated beyond a doubt that the young talent in the region has the potential to mature into world-class experts. Today, we re-dedicate ourselves to working even more closely with students across the region to better equip the next generation of technology leaders,” said Yang.
All participants underwent highly selective examinations at the national level. Participants worked in real laboratories and tackled some of the industry’s most complex challenges related to cloud computing, switching, routing, and other key ICT solutions and technologies related to digital transformation.
In partnership with 14 government ministries, the Huawei Middle East ICT Skill Competition 2017 was hugely successful in its mission to unearth and cultivate the region’s finest ICT talent, bringing together more than 10,285 students from 121 educational institutions.