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With digital technologies becoming the building blocks of Lebanon’s intelligent society—and increasingly important during the COVID-19 pandemic and post-pandemic recovery—Huawei is once again touching on an important driver of the digital transformation journey, nurturing ICT talent. The company is now running the 4th edition of its flagship annual Middle East ICT Competition in Lebanon to support the next generation of leaders for an intelligent world, in line with government national plans and strategies.

The initiative underpins technology utilization and aims to support socio-economic development by bolstering the overall ICT ecosystem through local talent. Such individuals can in turn help Lebanon achieve its national development plans and ambitious visions for more sustainable, knowledge-based economies. This year’s competition is being held under the patronage of the Ministry of Telecommunications (MoT) and in partnership with the Lebanese Association for Developing Information and Technology (L.A.D.I.T).

From October to December, hundreds of undergraduate students from over 10 leading universities in Lebanon are expected to participate in this year’s competition, which is being held virtually for the first time due to physical distancing measures.

General director of the ministry of telecommunications, Engineer Bassel Al-Ayoubi noted, “The ICT sector is a significant national industry promoting Lebanon’s global competitiveness and economic strength. Private sector programs like the Huawei Middle East ICT Competition are highly valued in supporting these ambitions, developing indigenous innovation overall while nurturing a supportive environment for the ICT sector in particular.”

Paul Feng, CEO Levant Region, Huawei, said, “Empowering Lebanon’s youth with global knowledge and new skills plays a key role in the future of socio-economic growth. Huawei is committed to expanding the ICT value chain in Lebanon through local talent and building open ecosystems. We believe in openness, collaboration, and shared success, and put forward our best efforts to support the sustainable development of ambitious countries like Lebanon. We are dedicated to fostering innovative interdisciplinary talent through knowledge and experience sharing. Moreover, by offering participants access to online exchanges and learning, we can create more equal opportunities for quality education, enabling more people to benefit from the digital economy.”

The competition promotes creativity amongst students by acting as a bridge between the classroom and the workforce, enhancing students’ future employment opportunities. The training and competition tracks for this year—held under the theme “Connection, Glory, Future”—focus on advanced technologies such as 5G, AI, cloud computing, and data storage, facilitating connections between international talent. In addition to sharpening student’s own knowledge of these domains, the competition assists government authorities, colleges, and universities to identify and support the future leaders of ICT.

Finalists of the national competition and regional competition will receive a certification, future learning opportunities, gifts and first prize winners of the regional competition will also get the chance to win a USD$20,000 cash prize, and more.

Last year, over 260 students from across Lebanon applied for the Middle East ICT Competition from leading colleges and universities. The competition was supported by ministries, various ambassadors, and academic chancellors from some of Lebanon’s top-ranking universities. The team who participated from Lebanon, won first place in the ICT Competition regional finals that was held at Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen, China with the participation of 13 teams from 10 Middle East countries.

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