In a world that has been reshaped by Covid-19, digitalization of the economy has become the only hope of coping with the new normalcy.
According to the Principal Secretary, Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, State Department of ICT and Innovation, Mr. Jerome Ochieng, harnessing ICT capabilities will steer the economy to a much needed digital transformation that will offset the economic interruption brought about by Covid-19.
The Principal Secretary was speaking during the launch of the Huawei’s 2021 Seed for the Future Programme conducted virtually on Friday, August 20, 2021.
Mr. Ochieng said ICT should be fully utilized to accelerate Kenya’s quest to become a middle income country by 2030.
He congratulated the 2021 inductees into the Huawei ICT academy saying demand for highly skilled ICT experts is the most sought after career due to the evolving nature of the economy.
Concurring with the Permanent Secretary’s sentiments, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi said, “I believe that digital technologies are very useful in helping to identify emerging skills needs, evolving demands and potential skills gaps by providing real time intelligence. Real-time data can provide evidence of skills gaps across economic sectors and help guide students to emerging career paths to address emerging problems.”
In a speech read on her behalf by the acting Principal, College of Pure and Applied Sciences, Prof. George Thiong’o, the Vice Chancellor urged innovators to keep track of emerging technologies in ICT in order to make progress at the same speed as the more technologically advanced countries.
“It is imperative to note therefore that for the ICT industry to keep pace with rapid technological changes and be at the forefront of content innovation, innovators need to be agile in staying ahead of the curve while up-skilling themselves,” said Prof. Ngumi.
Prof. Ngumi re-affirmed JKUAT’s commitment to the implementation of ICT policies in teaching and learning in the University. She added that JKUAT has been hugely boosted by the Huawei ICT Academy domiciled at the University in the institutional efforts to build capacity of ICT experts in the country.
The Chief Executive Officer, Huawei Kenya, Mr. Will Meng, singled out JKUAT for praise saying the University has played a crucial role in building capacity for ICT experts in the country.
Mr. Meng expressed his desire to continue fostering strong partnerships with local universities.
The Huawei Seeds for the Future training program inducts 60 top students from different local universities into the program each year.
This is the seventh cohort of students to go through the program since it started in 2014 and the second cohort to receive training virtually.
This year students will participate in the newly launched Tech4Good project which aims at challenging them to examine how to leverage technology to address the region’s persistent social and environmental issues.