Malawian youths on IT

By Fatsani Gunya

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-A well informed youth about, or proficient in the use of modern technology, is said to be key in consolidating Malawi’s drive in achieving national development goals.

Malawi has Vision 2063 as its flagship national agenda which among others, aims at wealth creation for all through improved health, agricultural production, education and equity across the country’s social strata.

Deputy Minister of Education Monica Chang’anamuno has since challenged ICT students in the country to leverage on the power of technological innovation so as to provide solutions that could help Malawi to expedite achievement of tue said goals at the heart of who is digital traded services.

The minister was addressing 100 students from various universities as they completed a week-long training in ICT at Crossroads Hotel in the Capital Lilongwe.

The training was sponsored by mobile technology giant Huawei Technologies through its flagship corporate social responsibility programme dubbed Seeds of the Future.

“As detailed in the Malawi Digital Economy Strategy 2021-2026, we have identified three priority areas in which we believe ICT can have the greatest impact.

First, in agriculture where we want to use ICT to increase farmer earning by supporting productivity and commercialization.

Second, in health, we want to use ICT to improve health outcomes by ensuring that patients are correctly diagnosed and treated,” said the minister who also cited digital traded services as the third sector through which government plans to enable Malawians to deliver services remotely and support both local and foreign business operation.

Added Chang’anamuno: “I hope that you will expand upon what you have learned to support and accelerate government efforts to leverage the power of ICT to improve wellbeing, to create new sources of wealth, and to accelerate economic diversification.

Speaking on the sidelines of the digitech bootcamp, that was themed “Inspiring the youth, shaping the future”, some participants felt that the session was a timely eye-opener.

Freedom Msomera, one of the students from Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS) added that the training has changed the way they think.

“Previously we were looking at ICT as just a mere subject in school but now we are thinking of it as a tool for providing solutions, accelerating development, entrepreneurship and job creation. As we go out we will try to use the knowledge to bring solutions,” Msomera said.

Among other areas, according to Huawei ICT trainer Ghassan Nassar, the students honed skills in Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G network, cloud computing, coding and database; including how such such technologies can be used to bring solutions that can have a big impact on challenges the world is facing.

Seeds of the Future Programme started in 2016 when Huawei Technologies would select 10 students every year to travel to China for ICT training.

However, this was, especially the China tours, stopped in 2020 due to a global travel ban over COVID-19 pandemic that also claimed millions in lives.

The Programme resumed last year in the country where 50 students from eight tertiary institutions received training at Golden Peacock Hotel.

The number pf beneficiaries has since been doubled to 100 this year, with beneficiaries recruited from 10 tertiary institutions including the University of Malawi (formerly Chancellor College), Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must) and Malawi Institute of Management; among others.

Speaking when he officially opened this year’s session on Monday last week, Chinese Ambassador to Malawi Long Zhou pledged continued support towards government efforts to achieve digital transformation which he said is a catalyst to development.

In his remarks during the same Minister of Information Gospel Kazako extended gratitude to Huawei, saying the organisation has proved to be a good partner since they started operating in the country for 15 years.

“Let me convey my gratitude to Huawei Technologies for continuing to nurture and develop our 15-year relationship through their constant support in the ICT sector through sponsorship of the ICT Association of Malawi ICT Expo, Sponsorship of the Financial Technology Expo, and through initiatives that empower our young people with critical ICT skills through this flagship programmme, Seeds For The Future Program,” he said.

Huawei has also played a key role as an implementing partner for the National Fibre Backbone Project phases 1 and 2.

Through these projects, Malawi has had its major optic fibre cable laid.

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