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S. African students leave for China to attend Huawei ICT training

Ten South African university students are leaving for China on Friday for a two-week information and communication technology (ICT) training held by Huawei in Beijing.
The study program “Seeds for the Future” is being bankrolled by the Chinese ICT giant, Huawei Technologies. This is the first batch of 1,000 South African students who will be trained over the next five years in ICT by Huawei.
The students were selected on merit from different South African universities. On Thursday night, South Africa’s Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Dr. Siyabonga Cwele hosted a send-off reception during which he encouraged the students to come back with skills.
Bidding farewell to the students, Cwele said, “As you embark on this journey, remember that you carry with you hopes and dreams of the nation. Go out, seize and learn, I wish you safe travel and a journey back home full of knowledge and skills.”
He said the country has a deficiency in critical skills like ICT and the training will empower the students who will contribute to the country’s economic development upon their return.
Cwele said the students should expect to work hard in China. He said he went to a political school in China where they would work for long hours.
He said the Chinese are loyal, time-conscious and diligent and the students should expect that in China. He also said, “I urge you to make effective use of information and communication technologies to deepen your participation in the digital society.”
The students will be trained at the Huawei complex in China and other places as the training includes telecommunications networks, cloud computing and strategic global business initiatives, among others.
Likewise, China’s Economic and Commercial Counsellor Rong Yansong encouraged the students to work hard and come back with skills. He also praised Huawei for empowering the youth from South Africa and Africa and said when they return he expects them to contribute to the socio-economic development of their country.
“You represent the future of the country. All of you must cherish and take advantage of this to gain more ICT knowledge and understand more technology and make contributions to South Africa,” Rong said.
One of the students, Odwa Yekela, 24, told Xinhua that it will be his first trip to China and that he was very excited about it.
Yekela is pursuing a Master’s degree in ICT at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. He said, “It is a privilege and honor for us to be afforded this opportunity and I am excited about the journey. I want to be a future innovator.”
Yekela said that in 5-10 years’ time, he wants to be producing and innovating programs. He also said he has been an admirer of the Chinese culture and hopes to study for his Ph.D.in China.
Mashego Dibetle, a third-year student working on her Bachelor’s degree at Tshwane University of Technology, said that the students won’t disappoint their country.
She said they are grateful for the opportunity and they will return and contribute to the good of the country. She said, “We are not going to try to do the best but will do our best.”

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