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Empowering youth in ICT, to take their place in the 4IR

2020.06.16

Huawei has established numerous ICT training initiatives aimed at uplifting youth, creating meaningful employment, and furthering the development of South Africa’s ICT industry. Armed with talent, determination, and a deep fascination for the field, participants such as Tebatso Moses Munyai and Leutsoa Moteka are using these initiatives to earn a place in SA’s nascent fourth industrial revolution.

Tebatso Munyi receiving his Mandarin certificate in Beijing 2018

Tebatso Munyai’s philosophy is to “take chances we’re given and let no opportunity pass you by”.  It’s one that has served him well; as a successful applicant on Huawei’s Seeds for the Future programme, he was one of 40 South African students selected from local universities between 2016 and 2019 to travel to China. There, he spent two weeks training in up-to-date technologies at Huawei’s most advanced laboratories.

“We travelled to major cities such as Hong Kong, Beijing and Shenzhen, where we learned about Chinese culture, ICT technologies, and how China has embraced and harnessed ICT technologies to build a connected world, starting with mobile payments, connected bicycles, smart transport systems, safe-city features among others – all brought together in harmony through the Internet of Things,” recalls Tebatso.

Seeds of the Future 2018 at the Great Wall of China, Bejing

Tebatso is one of many youths to have benefitted from Huawei’s programmes towards building South Africa’s ICT industry. These initiatives set out to boost the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) locally, and meet President Ramaphosa’s call to "create jobs for the unemployed of today while preparing workers for the jobs of tomorrow."

Both Tebatso’s character and enthusiasm hugely impressed the Huawei team, who are on the lookout for talent with the right combination of dedication and passion to thrive in the challenging field of ICT. They seek to foster such individuals as they grow to become the high calibre professionals of the future, primed to drive digital transformation and fast-track South Africa’s place in a hugely competitive industry.

This is also the aim of the Huawei ICT Academy, which offers industry recognised certification to give students and advantage when they enter the workplace.

In 2015, Huawei established their first South African academy in partnership with Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), later adding the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) to an ICT talent ecosystem that includes more than 1,000 universities and colleges worldwide.

Creating jobs for the future

Huawei’s Graduate Programme recruits around 20 - 30 graduates each year from diverse fields. During the programme, the graduates get to experience corporate life and undergo intensive training with the support of experienced mentors, thus making them more attractive to potential employers down the line. In addition, Huawei runs an internship programme in which one hundred students are recruited annually in a project with the MICT SETA, after 8-12 months of training the students are recruited by Huawei and its channel partners.

Leutsoa Moteka, a student from Wits University, launched his career with the HCNA Certificate. Like Tebatso, Leutsoa is driven by a deep and abiding interest in the field. As a child, he says he was “always fascinated by computers and communications devices… I always wondered, ‘How does the internet work?’”. As such, his certification has enabled him to realise a long-held ambition, “to configure internet protocols and understand how the network and the internet works."


Leutsoa Moteka, telecoms engineer.

Leutsoa was also one of more than 1000 students from universities across Sub-Saharan Africa – including South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria – to take part in Huawei’s ICT Academy Competition in 2018, yet another initiative towards finding and nurturing the region’s finest ICT talent.

Now employed as a telecoms engineer, Leutsoa is deeply appreciative of the Huawei initiatives that, he says, have enabled him to access otherwise unaffordable training and certification. He is similarly grateful for the exposure they have provided within his chosen career.

Tebatso, too, remains hugely enthusiastic about ICT and the opportunities that Huawei has presented him. Since his travels in China, he says his journey has become “even more exciting because there is always something more to learn and solve… I have been exposed to so many technologies, starting from Enterprise solutions to Network Technology Department solutions”.

“I feel very lucky and thankful to have been part of the Seeds for the Future Programme, because the opportunity came at the right time and has become a turning point of my career,” he says.

Both Tebatso and Leutsoa demonstrate the importance of the maxim to “take chances we’re given and let no opportunity pass you by”. Both have applied their determination and considerable abilities to make excellent use of Huawei’s initiatives, thereby carving out a promising future in a burgeoning and fascinating industry.

Tebatso has more advice for all youth and graduates:  “to not give up, learn as much as possible and learn not only what your eyes can see but beyond what meets the eyes... No matter how hard the situation is, remember everyone has to start from somewhere!”