Seven IT students from MUST are part of a group of 50 students from different universities in Malawi, currently undergoing training in ICT under a programme by Huawei Technologies called Seeds for the Future.
The students from MUST are Emmanuel Mkandawire, Sellina Kathumba, Tiwonge Mughogho, Chancy Mzama, Abubakah Manyonga, Angella Shumba and Memory Malola.
The third year students were selected based on average class performance from first year.
In the past, only 10 Malawian students were being funded to train in China under the same programme but this year the number has gone up as the training will be done locally due to Covid19.
This year’s cohort was launched in Lilongwe on Monday, November 15, 2021 and was graced by the Minister of Information, Gospel Kazako and Managing Director of Huawei Technologies in Malawi, Zhang Bin. The Chinese Ambassador to Malawi Liu Hongyang attended the ceremony virtually,
Addressing the students during the launch ceremony, Kazako said the youth were critical for Malawi’s development, especially that the current industrial revolution is dependent on ICT.
“As said, you are the seed that will feed Malawi’s economy if you excel. However, if you choose to be a seed that dies in the soil and fails to germinate, you will be a disappointment to the nation. So work hard so that you do not disappoint us,” he said.
Zhang said Seeds for the Future is the company’s corporate social responsibility initiative started globally in 2008 and aims to develop local ICT talent, enhance knowledge transfer, promote a greater understanding and interest in the telecoms sector, improve and encourage regional building and participation in the digital community.
Introduced in Malawi in 2016, the programme has so far enrolled four cohorts after a break last year due to Covid19.
“As participants, you are privileged because you will be trained by ICT experts from China. I can only encourage you to take the training seriously. Through this training, you will be able to grow your ICT skills and those for Malawi,” said Zhang, adding that ICT is the economic driver for most of the developed countries in the world.
Speaking in a separate interview, Head of Department of Computer Science and IT at MUST, Dr Bennett Kankuzi said the students stand to benefit more from the training as they will be able to attain higher level ICT skills which they can localize by using them to address local challenges.
“You will note that in the MW2063, all the three pillars of agriculture productivity and commercialization, industrialization and urbanization can only be realized through advanced technological applications and ICT is a huge enabler in this respect,” he said.
The training runs between November 15 and 22 and is being held at Golden Peacock Hotel in Lilongwe.