Huawei, a global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, has announced fresh plans to invest N80 million for the empowerment of the Nigerian ICT industry to develop young talents.
The technology company made the disclosure at the 2014 Nelson Mandela International Day event held in Abuja recently.
According to the company, four million out of the amount would be made available to the Nelson Mandela Institution (NMI), which will invest it in its affiliate, the African University of Science and Technology (AUST) in Abuja, as scholarship for admitted students.
The ICT equipment, worth N76 million, would be provided by Huawei to NMI, on the basis of the identified needs of the institution and consistent with Huawei’s own policies and procedures as well as those of NMI and AUST.
In addition, Huawei said it would also make its Abuja training centre accessible to AUST computer science students for use in the development of proposals among other things.
AUST is expected to invite Huawei engineers and researchers to organise workshops or specific classes for the students.
The Deputy Managing Director of Huawei, Abuja office, Mr. Osita Iweze, said: “Bridging digital divide is Huawei’s global strategy. Huawei has set up an ICT scholarship in University of Lagos since 2012, and initiated the 1,000 girls training programme with Federal Ministry of Communications Technology, which was launched in 2013 and currently about 500 girls have completed their training courses.” He added: “ln 2014 Huawei continued to expand its investment in young ICT talents education and we are glad to work with AUST to ensure the graduates could be ICT industry leader in Nigeria and other sub-Sahara African countries.”
The Chief Executive Officer of NMI, Mr. Bonaventure Mbida-Essama, appreciated Huawei’s commitment and said: “The African University of Science and Technology is the first of the Nelson Mandela Institutions, established as a centre of excellence in science and technology with a focus on African development.”
Since its inception, AUST has trained more than 300 Ph.D and M.Sc. students from 19 African countries in five disciplines namely, Computer Science and Engineering, Pure and Applied Mathematics, Theoretical Physics, Petroleum Engineering, and Materials Science and Engineering.
The idea behind Huawei’s donation is to introduce the latest technology into the classroom system and to give certain financial support to these institutions for the benefits of their students, Iweze said.
Dignitaries at the event were the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; the South African High Commissioner for Nigeria, LLA MnGumi, among others.