Huawei invests in IT and engineering students to upskill them for the fourth industrial revolution

Nine academically deserving Wits University postgraduate students have been awarded bursaries to the tune of about R2 million by Huawei Technologies.

The students, from the IT and engineering fields, are Luyanda Siqalo Makhoba, Suleiman Momoniat (IT), Ridwaan Ryan Bham (engineering), Makoko Alfred Motloung, Tumelo Tshana Konaite, Sakhile Mbane (computational and applied mathematics), Lesego Euratius Modiane, Mohale Nakana (big data analytics) and Simamkele Madikwa (project management in construction).

At the bursary award ceremony on Wednesday, July 17, deputy CEO of Huawei South Africa, Kian Chen, said, “In the spirit of giving back as we approach Mandela Day, Huawei has decided to make this donation to Wits University in order to upskill youth in the industry as the country moves towards the fourth industrial revolution.”

Ceremony: Huawei Technologies South Africa management hand over the donation cheque to Wits University postgraduate students on July 17.                                          Photo: Lineo Leteba

Vanashree Govender, Huawei’s media and communications manager, told Wits Vuvuzela that there was a rigorous selection process which helped narrow the number of applicants down to the best students from the IT, engineering and computer science departments who were academically deserving.

“The students applied and those selected went for interviews and the nine were picked. The bursary is from this academic year until the end of the student’s respective degree programme,” she said.

Simamkele Madikwa, the only female recipient, said that she had just enough money to register and had no plan of how to pay her fees this year and this bursary would help her realise her dreams.

“I come from a rural village near the small town of Matatiele in the Eastern Cape. Growing up, I was always fascinated by building and construction. I saw that as a sign of progress and improvement. With this Huawei bursary I am looking forward to bringing connectivity infrastructure to more people in areas like the one I grew up in,” the masters student in Project Management and Construction said.

Professor Robert Muponde, Wits director of postgraduate affairs, said that the technology company had given scholarships to Wits students more than once and the university cherished these scholarships.

“Huawei Technologies have therefore made an inspired choice to invest in an area of dynamic growth and the talented youth of Wits University.

“Not only have they meticulously selected the talented young beneficiaries for their prestigious, hotly-competed-for scholarships; they have judiciously chosen to invest in the intellectual capital and infrastructure of South African higher education by strengthening local institutions,” said Muponde.

Other beneficiaries of Huawei’s largesse are students at the universities of Pretoria and Cape Town.