The Huawei Middle East ICT Competition 2020, the largest competition for students and universities in the region, has now come to a close, with winners of the annual event being announced following several months of national and regional competitions between some of the region’s brightest young minds and leading academic institutions. Held virtually this year in respect of social distancing measures, the finals saw 13 teams of talented students compete from 10 countries.
The annual competition sees Huawei and various partners in government and academia contribute towards the development of ICT talent ecosystems, nurturing young talent while also fostering an innovation mindset amongst the next generation of ICT leaders. In 2020, the competition witnessed the participation of 20 ministries and government authorities, received 15,000 entries from 440 local colleges and universities in 10 Middle East countries.
This year a team from Pakistan comprising students from the National University of Sciences and Technology and Mehran University of Engineering and Technology won the first prize of US$20,000. The second prize was won by two teams: a team from Iraq comprising students from Salahaddin University, Sulaimani Polytechnic University and Ninevah University and a team from Pakistan from Balochistan University of Information Technology, University of Central Punjab, Lahore and Mehran University of Engineering and Technology. The third prize going to three teams: a team from Oman comprising students from University of Technology and Applied Sciences – Higher College of Technology and Shinas, and Arab Open University, as well as a team from Bahrain comprising students from University of Bahrain and Bahrain Polytechnic, and a team from Lebanon comprising students from the Lebanese University and Arab Open University. All winning teams received special certificates and trophies presented virtually by local Huawei representatives.
In other categories, the Saudi team took home the ‘Best Popularity’ award, the ‘Excellent Partner’ category was awarded to ASAL from Pakistan and Saudi’s Technical and Vocational Training Corporation, the ‘Excellent Academy’ category was awarded to 10 universities across the Middle East, and the ‘Excellent Tutor’ award was handed to Salama Said Al-Kalbani from Oman, Ali Hassnain and Hafizullah Kakar from Pakistan, Dr. Bassem Haidar from Lebanon, Mardin Abdulla Anwar from Iraq and Alauddin Al-Omary from Bahrain.
Charles Yang, President of Huawei Middle East, said: “On behalf of Huawei, I offer hearty congratulations to our winners and everyone who participated in this year’s competition. This has been an exceptional year in many ways, but it has also never been a more important time to support young people in developing their talent and creativity with cutting-edge technology. Today ICT are the building blocks of an intelligent society. By taking advantage of global knowledge and best practices through these competitions, we are able to bridge the gap between the classroom and the workplace, increasing national ICT competitiveness while encouraging local communities to contribute to national visions for digital transformation and socio-economic development.”
Today Huawei is committed to growing the region’s ICT talent ecosystem by investing in youth and providing development and training opportunities that facilitate connections between international talent. By openly collaborating with public and private sector entities in the Middle East, the company also seeks to promote a greater understanding of and interest in the technology sector, while enhancing students’ future employment opportunities in an increasingly digital economy.
Through the ICT Competition which has witnessed the participation of over 60,000 students in 4 years, Huawei plays a key role in developing an environment of openness, collaboration and shared success, which will nurture a more successful and cohesive future for connectivity on a nationwide and, indeed, global scale in the years and decades to come. It comes in line with Huawei’s strong belief in building the ICT ecosystem, encouraging knowledge and experience transfer, while bridging the digital divide and promoting digital inclusion.