The group of young Zimbabwean innovators who recently toured China under the Information Communications Technology (ICT) giant Huawei’s Seeds for the Future says they are ready to implement lessons they learned from the visit.
Seeds of the Future is Huawei’s global corporate social responsibility flagship programme and this was Zimbabwe’s third group of 10 to undergo incubation.
Initiated by Huawei in 2008, the programme seeks to develop local ICT talent, enhance knowledge transfer, promote a greater understanding of and interest in the telecommunications sector, and improve and encourage regional building and participation in the digital community.
The students were chosen as the best from ICT-related proposals presented by tertiary students from universities in Zimbabwe and they spent two weeks on hands-on ICT training in China.
They include Caroline Mubobo, Tendai Mutamba, Yvette Kudyahakudadirwi, Kundai Mujati, Ruvimbo Isa, Clara Chagonda, Kudakwashe Nzara and Thulani Thami.
Having undergone training at the Beijing Language and Culture University’s School of Continuing Education for a week learning to speak and write in the Chinese language, the students said they were also exposed to Chinese paintings and culture.
While in Beijing, they paid a visit to the Great Wall – whose origins goes back to 2 000 years ago with an attraction of almost 80 000 tourists a day, and the Forbidden City, also known as the Palace Museum, which was built on 72 hectares and is the biggest preserved palace in the world.
The students then went to Shenzhen for another week of hands-on training in cutting-edge technologies such as 5G, LTE and cloud computing at the Huawei Technologies headquarters.
The Huawei campus includes the organisation’s head office, university, training centre, hotel and other facilities.
Reflecting on the educational trip, Thami, a fourth-year Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Zimbabwe, said Zimbabwe should emulate the Chinese as they are finding solutions to everyday challenges.
“Beijing (Chinese capital) is highly polluted but the people there are embracing green solutions to address the situation. The city gives incentives for those who are going green and it is working well with them. There are now electric cars in China and this eliminates fuel hassless and reduces pollution.
“Going forward as youths we want to champion solar generation projects and make sure that the country will not have power problems again,” said Thulani.
Mujati, a third-year Computer Science student at the University of Zimbabwe, said the trip to China was not only a technology tour but a good lesson in appreciating the urgency displayed by Chinese people.
“The Chinese take time seriously and are generally hard workers. This culture is what is needed in the country to drive the economy forward. As young people we are going to spread this noble culture to other youths so that we push our innovative ideas for the benefit of the country.”
Chagonda was thankful for the learning opportunity, emphasising the positive aspects of Chinese culture.
“I took in as much as I could from the people I met.
“The Chinese are so punctual, dedicated, friendly, warm and hardworking people. I feel motivated, challenged, driven, inspired and I believe I am now more focused,” she said.