Huawei’s Asia-Pacific ICT competition hones ‘essential’ skills: ASEAN Foundation

By Huawei

Three teams from Singapore were among the 20 teams from across the region to be honoured at the awards ceremony for the Huawei ICT Competition Asia Pacific 2023-2024, held in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 18 April.

The team from Singapore Polytechnic, comprising Clement Cheong (centre), Chen Zhuofan (second from right) and Zachary Chua (not pictured), took home the Grand Prize - Cloud Track at the awards ceremony for the eighth Huawei ICT Competition Asia Pacific 2023-2024. Image: Huawei

More than 6,400 students from 14 territories across the region took part in the Huawei ICT Competition Asia Pacific 2023-2024, which announced its winners on 18 April.

Among them were teams from Singapore Polytechnic (SP), the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Singapore Management University (SMU). SP won the Grand Prize for competition’s Cloud Track, NUS won the First Prize for the Computing Track, and SMU won the 3rd Prize for Innovation Track.

Speaking at the competition awards ceremony, which was held at the ASEAN Headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia, Dr Piti Srisangnam, Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation, said that digital literacy and proficiency “are not just desirable skills, they are essential for economic growth, social development, and global competitiveness.”

Earlier, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr Kao Kim Hourn, delivered welcome remarks at the event, which marked the culmination of the eighth edition of the regional competition.

Students who participated were assessed on their technical know-how and ability to apply information and communications technology, or ICT, to solve real-world problems.

Addressing the digital talent gap

There will reportedly be a shortage of 47 million tech talents by 2030 in the Asia-Pac region, according to organisational consulting firm Korn Ferry. Globally, this shortage could impact more than 85 million jobs by 2030.

The global Huawei ICT Competition, since its first edition in 2015, is open to students in higher education institutions around the world that partner with the Huawei ICT Academy. It provides a platform for healthy competition, an exchange of innovative ideas, and development of ICT skills.

Students can take part in hands-on labs, workshops, and real-world scenarios, guided by Huawei-certified instructors, as they learn about Huawei technologies in domains such as networking, cloud computing, big data, and artificial intelligence.

They are then encouraged to validate their learning with Huawei certification and hone their practical skills for the ICT industry and community.

The prize-winning team from the National University of Singapore comprised of Chan Chung Loong, Nguyen Cao Duy and Lau Xuzi. Image: Huawei

In Singapore, Huawei has partnered with 10 local Institutes of Higher Learning to equip students with tech skills through the Huawei ICT Academy. Over the past four years, Huawei has trained more than 2,000 students and certified more than 30 lecturers, via the Academy, and made internship opportunities available to academy alumni.

In addition, Huawei has also organised the Huawei Innovation Training Camp to raise awareness of the value of ICT talent and ensure sustainable talent development.

Empower our youth with digital skills

The Singapore Management University team - Tan Yee Sen, Seah Pei Ming, Lee Wei Khiang, and Lee Shuoan (not pictured) - participated in the Innovation Track. Image: Huawei

Last year’s Huawei ICT Competition attracted 120,000 students from over 2,000 colleges and universities, originating from 74 countries and regions worldwide.

Derry Aman, Permanent Representative of Indonesia to ASEAN and Chair of the Board of Trustees of ASEAN Foundation, remarked on the critical role of digital skills in today’s economy during the recent awards ceremony.

"With the rapid pace of technological advancement and the growing demand for digital expertise, it is essential that we empower our youth with the digital skills they need to succeed in the digital economy,” he said.

Meanwhile, Maki Katsuno-Hayashikawa, Director and Representative, UNESCO Regional Office in Jakarta, noted how Huawei was a “committed partner” that has “demonstrated dedication” by providing free online certification training through the Huawei ICT Academy programme.

To enhance its educational impact, Huawei has also announced plans to establish 500 ICT academies with the aim of nurturing over 200,000 students by 2025.

20 teams qualify for the global final

Themed “Connection, Glory, and Future”, the recent competition saw Cebu Institute of Technology – University (CIT) and the Information and Communications Technology Academy (iAcademy), both from the Philippines, garner the Grand Prize in the Innovation and Computing tracks respectively.

Institut Teknologi Bandung from Indonesia won the Grand Prize for the Network Track. Apart from these three teams, and the three prize-winning teams from Singapore, another 14 were awarded first, second and third prizes across four tracks.

As award winners, all 20 teams have qualified for the Global Final of the Huawei ICT Competition, which will be held in Shenzhen in May 2024.

Simon Lin, President of Huawei Asia Pacific, reflected on how the competition has evolved over the years, with the addition of the Computing track in 2023 and new activities for the students.

“We have designed more interactive activities to enhance the students’ leadership and employment skills. Together with governments, industry, and academia partners, we hope to cultivate future leaders, practitioners, and innovators in this region,” he said.