Eight Rwandan students have been selected to participate in “Seeds for the Future” programme, a competition that brings together students to design Information and Communication Technology-related solutions.
The competition is organised by Huawei, a Chinese solutions provider. It is the first time the firm is holding such a programme in Rwanda.
The students selected are from the University of Rwanda, University of Tourism, Technology and Business Studies (UTB), INES Ruhengeri, and Kigali Independent University (ULK). They were selected from a competitive process that attracted over 50 students.
Organisers say the students will be equipped with cutting-edge technologies such as 5G, LTE, and cloud computing, and offer them opportunities for hands-on practice in Huawei’s most advanced labs.
“This means that they will travel to China to study and experience what Huawei has been doing, and at the same time have an opportunity to visit other areas of technology and business in China,” Lina Cao, the lead organiser of the competition in Rwanda, said.
In this programme, which is the largest ICT programme run by Huawei, Lina, says they are focusing on the local ICT talent development.
The students were given a challenge to submit proposals addressing specific challenges in agriculture, education, business, health, and transportation sectors in Rwanda.
“What we did was to ask the contestants to submit their proposals indicating how ICT technology can help development of Rwanda in different areas of the economy. We received about 52 proposals,” Lina said.
Christian Rene Nshogoza is one of the selected participants and a student of Business and Information Technology at the University of Tourism, Technology and Business Studies.
He proposed a database that will enable all players within the agricultural ecosystem to provide data, making it easier for farmers to get access to information about weather and markets, among other things.
“Such a database would enable government institutions to provide data about weather conditions, as well as other research and higher-learning institutions to make their data accessible. This can enable farmers to easily plan and enable them to increase productivity,” he told Sunday Times.
Nshogoza strongly believes travelling to China will change his perspective about business and technology as well as enable him to turn his idea into a running project that could benefit more Rwandans.
According to Lina, the “Seeds for the Future” programme is implemented across the world to facilitate students to gain experience in ICT and latest technology trends and the global business environment. It is currently implemented in 96 countries worldwide, benefiting over 30,000 students.
The Rwanda programmewas announced during President Paul Kagame’s visit to attend the Global Broadband Commission meeting jointly by International Telecommunication Union and Huawei in March last year.
According to Huawei, the programme seeks to develop local ICT talent, enhance knowledge transfer, promote a greater understanding of interest in the telecommunications sector, and improve and encourage regional building and participation in the digital community.