Chinese tech giant Huawei will support Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal to cultivate 100,000 digital talents over the next five years.
The announcement came at the Digital Talent Regional Summit held virtually on Thursday.Themed “Cultivating a Talent Ecosystem for Inclusive Digital Prosperity,” the summit brought together ministers and scholars from the three countries.
Experts and representatives from UNESCO and the ICT industry also joined the event to explore collaborative initiatives for closing the digital skill gaps and facilitating the digital transformation in the post-pandemic economic recovery.
Bangladesh state minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak, Vice-Chancellor of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) Prof. Satya Prasad Majumder, and Head of Office and UNESCO Representative to Bangladesh Beatrice Kaldun, among others, were present and shared their insights.
“We believe the talent ecosystem is the cornerstone of the economic recovery and a long-lasting digital future,” said Jay Chen, vice president of Huawei Asia Pacific at the summit.
“However, the lack of digital skills is one of the biggest challenges facing many countries. In the next five years, Huawei expects to develop more than 100,000 ICT talents,” he said.
Jay Chen said Huawei also expects to build a vibrant digital talent ecosystem in this dynamic region, especially Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. The minister appreciated the initiative of Huawei to support the government in providing ICT solutions and training the digital talents.“Now is the right time to create digital talent, along with the priority on digitalization. The father of our nation said that the biggest asset of Bangladesh is the soil and people of the country,” Bangladesh state minister said.
“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Bangladesh is marching forward by fulfilling all the requirements of a developing nation,” said Zunaid Ahmed Palak.
Citing the Vision 2021, he said, “We are confident that with the support of the private sector, we will be able to attain our goals within the specified time.”
“I strongly believe that such partnerships will contribute to the country's economic growth and prepare our youth to face the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” he added.
The minister stressed that the digital transformation would bring dramatic changes in society.
“It is vital to upskill the youth and reskill the current employees. The government, educational institutions, and private sectors should continue to collaborate on the digital talent ecosystem,” Palak said.
Scholars and experts from the region participated in the panel discussion at the event.
They laid emphasis on developing talents aligned with the digital visions.
BUET VC Prof. Satya Prasad Majumder said, “This pandemic has reminded us of the need for continuous innovation in order to remain ahead of the curve by using technology.”
“This can be achieved only if we continue to nurture talent in the ICT sector,” he said.
Prof Majumdar thanked Huawei for “taking the timely step of arranging this much-needed event.”
He said it reaffirmed “our conviction of collaborating to ensure the wheels of innovation keep spinning.”
“It is a long-term, digital inclusion initiative that targets empowering the world’s maximum population with essential digital skills,” said Beatrice Kaldun, Head of Office and UNESCO Representative to Bangladesh.