Young ICT Talent from the Middle East and Central Asia Recognized at Regional Finale of Huawei ICT Competition 2023-2024
[Manama, Bahrain, December 21, 2023] Winning student teams of the Regional Finals of the Huawei ICT Competition 2023-2024 Middle East and Central Asia were honored at a grand closing and awarding ceremony on December 21, 2023, in Manama, Bahrain. Hosted under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, His Majesty the King’s Representative for Humanitarian Work and Youth Affairs, and in partnership with Bahrain’s Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunication and the University of Bahrain, the ceremony was held at the University of Bahrain.
This year, the Grand Prize for the Network Track went to a team of students from Pakistan, while Qatari students secured the Grand Prize in the Cloud Track, and the Grand Prize for the Computing Track was given to students from Kazakhstan. All winners received their prizes from His Highness Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, and Steven Yi, President of Huawei Middle East and Central Asia. All participating students in the Regional Finals received internship opportunities at the Huawei offices in their respective home countries.
The Closing and Awarding Ceremony of the Regional Finals of the Huawei ICT Competition 2023-2024 was attended by H.E. Jameel bin Mohammed Ali Humaidan, Minister of Labor, Bahrain; H.E. Mohammed bin Thamer Al Kaabi, Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications, Bahrain; H.E Ayman Tawfeeq Abdurrahman Almoayyed, Secretary-General of Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, Bahrain; H.E. Mr. Ni Ruchi, the Ambassador of People’s Republic of China to the Kingdom of Bahrain; Dr. Fuad Mohammed Al Ansari, President of the University of Bahrain; Dr. Osama Alsayed, Deputy CEO, Bahrain Polytechnic; Mr. Steven Yi; Mr. Xue Man, Vice President, Huawei; Mr. Aziz Tang, CEO, Huawei Bahrain; Mr. Eric Li, Managing Director, Huawei Bahrain; Dr. Raida Al Alawi, President, Bahrain Society of Engineers; and Dr. Jassim Haji, President International Group of Artificial Intelligence. In addition, dignitaries of Ministry offices, presidents, deans, and professors from regional universities were also present.
His Highness Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa said, “We commissioned the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Youth Affairs, the Ministry of Labor, and the Ministry of Education three years ago to examine ways to reskill our youth, and we made it clear to our ministers that we place great emphasis on lifelong training and education. I wanted to promote participants and improve their skills. I wanted high-intensity, high-impact, competitive training camps to help gain new skills, assess abilities objectively, and be ready to tackle new challenges and opportunities.”
HH Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa at the Closing Ceremony
“I was very pleased when Huawei was one of the first companies to respond to this vision and to introduce to us the Middle East and Central Asia competition, which was aligned with our direction. This is a fantastic start to an excellent long-term collaboration between the private sector and the public sector in preparing our youths for their future,” he added.
Steven Yi, congratulated the winners and said, “Developing ICT talent is essential for the continued development of digital economies across the Middle East and Central. At Huawei, we’re cognizant that the digital skills gap affects national economies and individual lives, and we’ve activated a number of ICT talent development programs and initiatives, including our successful Huawei ICT Competition.”
Steven Yi at the Closing Ceremony
“Huawei is really grateful to our gracious host, Bahrain, for their world-class hospitality. The Kingdom of Bahrain has set an excellent roadmap for an open collaborative environment that promotes partnerships between public and private sectors and academia. I would like to express our gratitude to our partners from regional governments, organizations, and universities for their continuous support and contribution to the success of the competition,” Steven Yi added.
The seventh edition of Huawei’s global ICT talent development competition witnessed the highest level of participation since the competition's launch in 2017. More than 27,500 students from over 600 universities across 21 Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries participated in this year’s Middle East and Central Asia Huawei ICT Competition. Twenty-two national final teams, consisting of 66 students and 20 tutors, from 11 Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries, including Bahrain, Pakistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, and Oman, qualified for the Regional Finals. These national finalists participated in exams, field trips, and workshops in the Kingdom of Bahrain from December 19-21, 2023.
Students and Tutors pose with HH Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Mr. Steven Yi, and ministers from Bahrain
The Huawei ICT Competition has emerged as the most significant and impactful initiative of its kind in the region. It serves as an essential platform to help nurture young ICT students, enhancing the national competitiveness of regional countries through the development of future ICT leaders. The competition has garnered support and endorsement from UNESCO, along with over 20 regional ministries, operators, and industry partners.
The program aims to narrow the digital skills gap in the region by providing students with technical and practical skills in the latest technologies like 5G, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud, and more. Students gain an opportunity to learn first-hand from Huawei experts about the latest ICT developments, international trends, and acquire hands-on skills development training at Huawei’s state-of-the-art labs, R&D centers, and facilities. This comprehensive training helps ready students for their future careers and assists in improving their future employment opportunities in the ICT sector.
The regional finalists will now participate in the Global Finals of the Huawei ICT Competition, which will take place in Q2 2024 in China.