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VUT part of Huawei R72m partnership to boost innovation in SA, China

Leading global ICT solutions provider Huawei signed a memorandum of understanding with the Vaal University of Technology Science and Technology Park, in Sandton, on 19 July, at the unveiling of Huawei's first Innovation and Experience Centre, built in Africa. This partnership forms part of the agreements between the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, The People's Republic of China and Huawei.

VUT Science and Technology Park, Engineering Specialist Tshepo Mahanuke, Executive Director Dr Joe Molete and the Operations Manager Heinrich van der Merwe applauded as they tied a knot with Huawei, in support of the bilateral agreement between China and South Africa. Among the dignitaries who attended this launch was the Minister of Telecommunication and Postal Services Dr Siyabonga Cwele and the Ambassador of The People's Republic of China to South Africa, Tian Xuejun, as well as the President of Huawei Eastern and Southern Africa Region, Li Peng.

The Innovation Centre, which cost R72 million to manufacture, is one of the 10 that Huawei is currently building across the world. The Vaal University of Technology has been inaugurated as the Huawei Authorised Information and Network Academy programme (HAINA), which will provide internationally accredited ICT-related short programmes. In addition, the programme will promote VUT as a certified training organisation to its students and customer base for both HAINA-based programmes and selected professional programmes.

The partnership between VUT and Huawei aims at enabling and preparing students, entrepreneurs and those in the ICT business to meet the challenges and opportunities created by the ICT industry's fast moving innovation, providing a platform to trial their innovative technologies. The programme entails internship opportunities for top HAINA certified students from VUT, and Huawei certification will be given priority when offering job opportunities within Huawei or Huawei's channel partners.

The VUT will also be hosting the Huawei technology professionals and professors to co-operate with the most advanced industry ICT technologies, with broad and converging ICT technology coverage, and promote VUT HAINA as the lead training academy in Africa.

Through this collaboration, Huawei will connect academia worldwide, to create a community that can share knowledge and ideas, assisting students to broaden their horizons, aspirations, goals and further creating career opportunities. One of the mandates at the Science and Technology Park is to encourage innovation and create better ICT platforms which will be done through skills transfer.

Vaal University of Technology, through its Science and Technology Park, takes pride in collaborating with such influential partners such as Huawei to support the establishment of a fruitful relationship between academia and the ICT industry, in turn contributing towards building a better society. Minister Cwele, Tian Xuejun and Li Peng all shared the same sentiments, that innovation is a driving force of this country's economic growth and that it is through partnerships like this that South Africa can grow as a nation.

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