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Huawei has announced the national winners of the 2021 Huawei Middle East ICT Competition, recently held in 10 countries across the region. It is the fifth year of the annual competition, which aims to nurture and empower the future generation of local ICT talent to effectively contribute to the region's national digitization plans and  technology-driven strategies.

This year's competition saw around 15,000 entries from 453 local colleges and universities in the Middle East, with Huawei teaming up with various public sector partners, such as ministries of education, telecom regulators, and youth empowerment authorities to run the competition in local markets. The winning national teams from each country will now proceed to a Middle East regional competition—the final leg of the program—where they stand a chance of taking home $20,000 in prize money, as well as other accolades and certificates, with the opportunity to compete in the global finals. Each team is comprised of three students and an academic tutor.

This year also saw the return of the highly successful Huawei Innovation Competition, held in parallel to the ICT Competition. The Huawei Innovation Competition empowers undergraduate students and their teachers to use innovative technologies – such as 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, and big data – to create valuable and meaningful applications for society.

Steven Yi, president of Huawei Middle East, said, "The Middle East is home to some of the most creative young talents who are looking to advance their skills and showcase their innovation capabilities on the global level, especially in the technology field which has become a vital driver of development in societies. We have seen sustained improvement in the quality of entries over the past five years of the Huawei Middle East ICT Competition, thanks to the support provided by the public sector.

"We continue to host the Huawei Middle East ICT Competition because we see the long-term benefit and impact of nurturing talent in the region. Talent development needs openness and collaborative efforts to keep pace with the rapid digital transformation trends across the region, and the Huawei ICT Competition is one of the ways we can show our ongoing commitment to support nations' development visions using technology," he added.

The Huawei ICT Competition was launched in 2017 and today has become one of Huawei's most influential competitions. Last year, the company collaborated with more than 20 ministries and 442 institutions, with over 15,000 students participating in the competition. Last year also saw the launch of the first "Innovation Track" to guide students in their development and provide a platform for realizing specific capabilities and applications in the Middle East.

The Huawei Middle East ICT Competition is one of several CSR initiatives undertaken by Huawei to nurture talent for Middle East youth. Together with the Huawei ICT Academy, the Huawei Innovation Competition, Seeds for the Future program, joint university labs, and other initiatives, thousands of young people in the region benefit from an advanced skills development pipeline every year, equipping them with the necessary skills to lead digital transformation and development efforts within their country.

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