By John Peter Olinga
Makerere University: In May 2019, Huawei ignited an Information Communications Technology (ICT) Academy in Uganda to improve the number and quality of IT professions in the country. The Academy was a result of a pledge offered by Huawei to H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni during his visit to China, whereby Huawei pledged to train over 1000 Uganda ICT talents through its ICT Academy at no cost for students.
Since its launch, the Huawei ICT Academy has attracted thousands of enthusiasts and students with multiple accreditation points mounted at Uganda’s top Universities. Initially, Huawei signed an MOU with Makerere University as the center of the ICT Academy, before seven more Universities joined the race to host regional Academies.
Among the approved Universities are; Makerere University Business School (MUBS), St Martyrs Nkozi, Kabale University, Soroti University, Muni University and Mbarara University of Science and Technology endorsed the Huawei ICT Academy certification path with a pool of over 800 students trained as Professionals.
Annually, Top Talent students who excel in the Academy’s competitive professional courses tailored to prepare them for the job market, stand a chance to compete in the global Academy competitions for an all expenses paid trip to China, and on a lucky patch, win Internship opportunities in Huawei Uganda’s Enterprise and customer Technical divisions.
Even with the Current COVID19 Pandemic, the Academy continues to certify students online with over 200 students currently undertaking different certification paths. But just like Student Success stories, Huawei Academy Instructors continue celebrate new heights.
Among the top Instructors in Uganda, Mr. Olinga John Peter from Makerere University, who is a Huawei ICT Academy Instructor that has benefited from not only being an academy Instructor/Teacher, but also improved his status as a key contributor in Uganda’s Technology ecosystem
According to Olinga, his journey with the Huawei ICT Academy flips back to 2018 when he joined a Bootcamp hosted at Makerere University where he won an Invitation to TTT (training designed for prospective instructors of Huawei ICT Academies).
“With prior experience, training and practice of one vendor, sometimes the cross to another vendor is a steep one, mainly considering the change in implementation, platform and command structure. I, with some other extremely committed intelligent people managed to make it through the challenge and became Uganda’s first Huawei Certified Academy Instructors (HCAI Routing and Switching),” Olinga said.
By emerging as one of Uganda’s first ever Huawei Certified Academy Instructors, Olinga, as a certified tutor, embarked on a journey of unprecedented learning and training of Students at the Makerere Huawei ICT Academy to mentor skill-filled, practice oriented, and creative minds ready to join the real-world Technology ecosystem.
Through various hands-on simulator, and cloud-based trainings in Network Engineering, Cloud Technologies, Cyber Security, among others. The Huawei ICT Academy programs empower students with top notch ICT skills to leverage the high demand of IT Professionals in Uganda’s workforce sphere.
As a certified Instructor, 70% of Olinga’s all-time academy students are currently certified as Huawei routing and Switching associates. A Majority of these also work in Huawei Uganda’s technical departments putting learnt skills to immediate enterprise, service provider and technical use.
“Personally, I was fortunate to take more than 100 students, so far, through these trainings, of which more than 70% successfully passed. Most of these start as interns, who are after a short period of time awarded contracts to work with Huawei or one of the various Huawei Partner Companies in Uganda. These include MTN, Airtel, and some special tech sensitive projects of the country,” Olinga added.
By garnering exposure as interns with some of Uganda’s top Technology brands, excelling students get to know and be part of the technical architecture, design, implementation and maintenance of ICT systems.
With Instructor level trainings capped at expert level, Olinga has embarked on expanding his academy involvement by upgrading from the base Instructor level to Professional, and currently planning to upgrade to expert level certification as he confirmed:
“With the Huawei ICT Academy, learning never stops, and opportunities never end. I was able to up my R & S Certification to Professional Level, by successfully self-preparing for HCIP’s 3 examinations, which I sat and passed successfully. What’s more, I successfully passed the first and most essential exam to the Expert level Certification in Routing and Switching (HCIE R&S), and now left with Lab and Interview exams, which I will take on this year,” Olinga said.
Furthermore, as a run-to place for equipping ICT students with top notch skills, guidance, Internship offers and Technology centric jobs. The Huawei ICT Academy continues to groom both students and Instructors through its global academy competitions where International University scholarships, grand prizes including a USD 30,000 take home for the overall global winner are offered.
Likely, Top 11 participants at the national stage and best Instructors receive numerous rewards from the competition, making the Huawei ICT Academy a must-enroll for young Technology enthusiasts in Uganda, with several Universities currently offering the academy’s top courses and resources.