Leap, which is an acronym for leadership, employability, advancement and possibilities, is aimed at fostering strong digital leadership and a skilled ICT workforce, building a digital talent pool, and promoting digital literacy among citizens. It includes a wide range of activities spanning from ICT training and certification courses, government digital capacity building and ICT skills competitions.
Launching the Leap programme, Huawei Southern Africa president, Leo Chen stressed the importance of ICT skills transfer and talent development.
“Digitisation is deeply rooted in people. Because we digitise for people and by people. When roots are deep, there is no need to fear the wind,” he said. “Through the programme, we strive to cultivate more youth leaders in ICT, who can explore more possibilities for themselves, their families, community and ultimately their nations.”
Speaking at the ceremony, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, South African minister of communications and digital technologies, said “It takes you, as the Leap, Seed’s of the Future and Huawei ICT Academy Programme participants to leapfrog us into the future. Covid 19 took us into the digital era, but we should not need a pandemic to do this for us in the future, we need to be deliberate and intentional to leapfrog our countries. We need innovation, we need to support local innovators, and we need to promote our own platforms throughout the continent to reach scale and develop our economies. We are only bigger when our market is bigger, and we must walk together.”
The Leap programme will be rolled out based on the company’s investment in the region and will see more than 1,200 instructors facilitate 3,000 ICT courses. It will also fund a number of facilities including training centres, hardware installation bases, innovation hubs, mirror labs, and ICT academies. Huawei currently has ICT academies at more than 300 universities and colleges in the region.
At the ceremony, Leo Chen also called for close collaboration between government, industry, and academia to create an ecosystem that everyone can contribute to and benefit from.