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With digital technologies becoming the building blocks of the Middle East’s intelligent society—and increasingly important during the COVID-19 pandemic and post-pandemic recovery—Huawei is once again running its flagship annual Middle East ICT Competition to prepare the next generation of leaders for an intelligent world. The initiative supports socio-economic development by bolstering the overall ICT ecosystem through nurturing local talent; individuals who will be their nations’ assets for achieving national development plans and ambitious visions for more sustainable knowledge-based economies.   

From October to December, thousands of undergraduate students are expected to participate in the competition, which is being held virtually for the first time due to physical distancing measures.

Charles Yang, President of Huawei Middle East, said: “Empowering the region’s youth with global knowledge and new skills plays a key role in the future of socio-economic growth. Programs like the Middle East ICT Competition also help to increase national ICT competitiveness. Huawei is committed to developing the ICT industry by investing in young talent and creating an open, collaborative ecosystem. 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 further 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.

This year will also see the introduction of the Huawei Innovation Competition, held in parallel to the ICT Competition. It focuses on supporting undergraduate students and teachers in using innovative technologies such as AI, cloud computing, and big data to create valuable and meaningful applications for society. Huawei has invited universities and colleges across the Middle East to participate in the new Innovation Competition, with a total of ten teams to be selected for the regional final this year.  

Winners of the regional competitions will receive a certification, future learning opportunities, a USD$20,000 cash prize, and more.

Last year, over 21,000 students from across the region applied for the Middle East ICT Competition from 437 colleges and universities. The competition was supported by 20 ministries, various ambassadors, and academic chancellors from some of the Middle East’s top-ranking universities. A total of 13 teams participated in the ICT Competition, and 39 traveled to China to compete internationally at Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen, China.

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