Varsity ICT students want key role in shaping Malawi

Student Seeds of the Future

Students from various universities in Malawi say they have what it takes to help the country achieve its set national development goals, including the flagship Malawi2063 agenda. 

The students insist that as well informed youth about, proficient in the use of modern technology, they remain key to achieving socio-economic development in developing countries like Malawi.

The sentiments come after a week-long training in ICT by digital and mobile technology giant Huawei Technologies of 100 students from various tertiary institutions at Crossroads Hotel in the Capital Lilongwe.

Speaking on the sidelines of the digitech bootcamp, that was themed  "Inspiring the  Youth, Shaping the Future", some participants said the session was a timely eye-opener.

Seeds of the Future

"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," Freedom Msomera, from Mubas.

Felistus Kampala, a Malawi Institute of Management student in the Capital Lilongwe, said she was thrilled to make the cut; which she added was a chance in a lifetime for her.

"It's actually thrilling, so to speak. I find the exposure in digital technology from this boot camp as just priceless. 

"Meeting our colleagues from various universities not only adds gloss to it but has also created new channels of collaboration which we understand remains key to unlocking new grounds in digitalisation in Malawi. Thank you Huawei," she said.

"I can tell you that in Malawi, people, especially the youth have brilliant ideas in various aspects of science. What has been lacking though are opportunities through which such passion, ideas and digitech nous can be shown. I thank Huawei and its partners for the opportunity, which will go a long way in promoting science advancement in the country," said Maxon Gomeka, a participant drawn from the University of Malawi (formerly Chancellor College).

During the digitech bootcamp, the students honed skills in several aspects of digital technology including the highly rated Artificial Intelligence (AI), cloud computing, coding and database management.

Malawi Institute of Management (MIM), Unima,  Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST), Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS), National Centre for Information and Technology (Nacit), Mzuzu University, DMI St John Baptists University and Daeyaung University, all contributed their students to this year's training session.

Since 2017, Huawei Technologies has been exposing selected university students to various emerging digital technologies to help build capacity in the sector that is quickly becoming the new currency in building modern economies. 

The Chinese conglomerate sponsors such bootcamps under its flagship Corporate Social Responsibility dubbed 
Seeds For The Future Programme.

Earlier last week, Chinese Ambassador to Malawi Long Zhoe pointed out on the need to have such tailor-made training programmes done on regular basis.

While pledging his nation's support to ensure  sustainability to the interventions, the envoy argued that though still an emerging sector in the region, digital technologies -also encompassing Information and communication technology, looks a more viable option to unlock Malawi's economic potential.

Said Zhoe:"Actually, it's a move that can help grow the country's prospects for foreign investment."

The 2022 Seeds for the  Future Programme comes just a few months after the Huawei Technologies also commissioned Malawi's first ever data centre in the country's commercial capital of Blantyre.