Historic participation at the Huawei ICT Competition
With the highest level of participation ever in its history, the seventh edition of the Huawei ICT Competition 2023–24 Middle East and Central Asia successfully concluded in Bahrain.
Hosted under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, His Majesty the King’s Representative for Humanitarian Work and Youth Affairs, in collaboration with the University of Bahrain (UoB) and Bahrain Polytechnic from December 19–21, this competition has long been at the forefront of nurturing talent in the information and communications technology sectors.
Teams from 11 Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries, including Bahrain, Pakistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman, participated in this landmark event, solidifying its status as the largest and most influential initiative of its kind. This competition is widely recognized for its role in developing ICT talents and bolstering national competitive capabilities, setting the stage for the emergence of skilled human resources and technical leaders of the future.
The competition was supported and endorsed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as well as more than 20 ministries, operators, and partners.
“We commissioned the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Youth Affairs, the Ministry of Labor, and the Ministry of Education three years ago to examine ways to reskill our youth, and we made it clear to our ministers that we in the military place great emphasis on lifelong training and education,” HH Shaikh Nasser said.
“Three years ago, I wanted to promote participants and improve skills. I wanted high-intensity, high-impact, competitive training camps to help gain new skills, assess abilities objectively, and be ready to tackle new challenges and opportunities.”
He expressed his pleasure that Huawei was one of the first companies to acknowledge this goal and presented Bahrain with the Middle East and Central Asia competition.
HH affirmed that this competition, which attracted more than 27,500 participants from 600 universities across the region, was a good start to a long-term public-private partnership.
HH Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad emphasised that preparing for a competition is more important than the actual win and that knowledge, experience, and friendship are the true gains.
“We are in an era of coming opportunities, and I hope competitors will see the endless possibilities coming their way,” HH added.
“During the past few months, machine learning has become increasingly available to the general public, and its tools have been made available to the mass market. Given the skills you have developed and the skills you are working on, you should always keep an eye out for what you can accomplish in the future.”
Education Minister and UoB’s Board of Trustees chairman Dr Mohammed bin Mubarak Juma, commended HH Shaikh Nasser’s continued support for youth and his national role in encouraging them to continue seeking knowledge, creativity, and innovation while supporting Bahrain’s comprehensive development process, led by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister.
He highlighted the importance of the partnership between UoB and Huawei, and its constructive role in training Bahraini youth and refining their skills, as well as its contribution to the opening of a specialised laboratory and an advanced digital library at the university and its desire to strengthen the digital ecosystem in the Kingdom.
Huawei ME Public Affairs and Corporate Communications President Shunli Wang affirmed that ICT talents are key to the growth of the digital economy, and Huawei is committed to providing students with a platform for knowledge exchange, competitive health, and innovation exchange.
Ni Ruchi, Ambassador of China to Bahrain, said that the competition was an excellent initiative, as it focuses on future development and supporting individuals all over the world through its contributions to creating opportunities for young people to learn advanced technologies and gain valuable experiences, as well as providing them with a deeper understanding of Huawei and the Chinese market.
The competition was launched last August and included 21 countries in the region, with the support of UNESCO. It also included more than 20 ministries, operators, and industry partners. It attracted more than 27,500 students from more than 600 universities across the region.
The regional edition for 2022-2023 includes 15 teams selected from a list of 19,300 participants representing 472 universities in 11 countries.
Huawei aims to promote innovation and creativity among ICT students in the Middle East and Central Asia by competing to win the national finals and then the international finals.