By Emeka Mamah
Enugu—Huawei, a foremost Chinese Information Technology company, has established its training academy at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, as part its efforts to hunt for innovators from the institution.
Huawei, established the IT Company at the temporary site of the science park, barely eight months after the authorities of the university set-up the “Roar Nigeria Hub” a pilot version of its proposed science park project which is expected to attract over 400 companies which would be scouting for research and innovation materials from the university. The Huawei Academy is coming at a time the university started producing the “Lion brand of laptops,” from its local assembly plant in a bid to improve the technological development of the country.
Already, there are four innovative groups including: AGROMESS which developed an application that helps farmers solve the problem of wastage of agricultural products. The app helps to identify parts of the country that have surplus agro products and link them to areas where the products are scarce.
Also, the university authorities said, the PAYMISO group developed automated fast and service escrow for peer-to-peer crypto-currency goods and services exchange, just as the ALPHOTAEI FARMS produced modular cassava processing plants for rural farmers; connecting them to the market.
Furthermore, the TRILLERAPP connects people to fun locations in their areas, while PEEPSCREEN group developed enterprise marketing tool to serve business owners using reward-based mobile app.
Yemi Joseph, a Senior Solutions Architect of Huawei explained that the purpose of establishing the academy was to ensure that Nigerian students are guided to develop the capacity for building ICT infrastructure at their undergraduate level.
“Our target is to use the centre to bring up talents that can be mentored to be innovative”, Joseph said.
He further explained that students who would enroll into the academy would be exposed to Huawei professionals for mentorship and they would be certified after their training.
The academy, according to him, would be developed to benefit students from other universities. “This is going to bring employment and start-ups for young innovators,” he said.
Simon Zhang, Channel Service Project Manager of Huawei said his organisation which has been operating in Nigeria for the past 18 years was committed to helping students master technology skills. Commissioning the Huawei Academy at the UNN earlier, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba, said the arrival of Huawei was a good beginning for his vision of building a “smart university” that would drive the transition of Nigeria to a knowledge-based economy, adding that more IT companies had indicated interest to set up their offices in the university in 2018.
“I can assure you that our university is a treasure trove. We have over 40,000 students who are prone to innovation,” Ozumba said, pointing out further that the “Lion” laptop assembly plant in the university, was to stimulate innovation culture among staff and students of the university.