By Mark Kawalya
In an effort to increase youth employment in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, the Ugandan government has partnered with Chinese telecom giant Huawei to host the nation’s second job fair. President Yoweri Museveni oversaw the kick-off of the event on October 17 in Kampala and highlighted the role that ICT plays in pushing the nation forward.
Museveni welcomed Huawei’s investment and technological capabilities in building the nation. “I support ICT and I think electronics is important for the human race. However Africa should use these technologies to build an economies that are independent, integrated, and self-sustaining,” he said.
Chris Baryomunsi, the Minister for ICT and National Guidance, believes the two-day event, which is being hosted under the subject of “Navigating the Digital Horizon,” would offer thousands of jobs and internship chances for the youth. After a successful first event in August of last year, Uganda’s demographic dividend lies in its youthful population, with over 70 percent of our citizens falling within the youth category.
However, we acknowledge the challenges that our youth face, particularly when it comes to unemployment,” Baryomunsi said. “It is our responsibility to provide our young people with opportunities that will not only empower them but also contribute to the growth of our country.”
The managing director of Huawei Technologies Uganda, Xie Qiuxiang, stated that around 1,000 job opportunities in various forms were provided by several business partners last year. “Huawei offered 15 internship positions, and these 15 interns have now become our full-time employees.”
“We will be providing 15 more internship opportunities this year. For anyone who registers with us from this job fair onwards, We will also provide 500 advanced ICT technology training quotas at no cost,” Xie continued.
Additionally, he added that they are now developing the 5G network, which would allow Uganda to have the quickest speed, the most affordable rate, and the finest communication network experience in all of East Africa. “Over the past few years, we have cooperated with 15 universities in Uganda to set up ICT academies. Each year, we train about 50,000 Ugandans in the most advanced ICT technologies,” he said.