Kenya could expand the 3D printing of body organs for medical replacement if a group of ten university students under the banner Print’nX proceed and conclude their project to develop synthetic body organs using 3D printing technology. The unique project is among those selected by a panel of judges to join teams participating in Huawei’s global Seeds for the Future project.
The group is part of a cohort of 60 university students drawn from across the country who had graduated from an 8- day training session that exposed them to among others, 5G, cloud computing, AI, and IoT. The training program also challenged participants to examine how to leverage technology to address the country’s most pressing social and environmental issues, whilst encouraging students to increase their social entrepreneurship, problem-solving, and leadership skills through teamwork.
During his keynote address when the cohort marked their official graduation at Kabete National Polytechnic, Principal Secretary for the State Department ICT and the Digital Economy John Tanui said that the government already recognizes the crucial role that new and emerging technologies such as 3D printing hold for several sectors including health and will support it will adequate regulations and guidelines.
Kenya’s revised ICT Policy of 2020, he noted, recognizes that cost-effective small-run manufacturing technologies such as 3D printing have transformed marketplace dynamics and that this evolution of scale will have a significant impact on the Kenyan industry.
“As a country, we have made significant strides in technology and innovations around it. However, the ICT skills gap remains a huge challenge, and programs such as the Seeds for the Future will certainly provide the requisite training and capacity building to ensure that we maintain momentum with regards to the developments taking place within ICT,” he stated.
Addressing the gathering, Huawei Eastern Africa CEO Will Meng noted that in just a decade, the firm had trained more than 20, 000 Kenyans and expects that more will benefit from its robust capacity-building sessions.
“ICT is a crucial growth engine for different industries Seeds for the Future is Huawei’s flagship program. It is an initiative that aims to cultivate young talent, ensuring that they are tech-savvy and adaptable. It our goal is to ensure that young people have the skills and mindsets needed to be competitive in their future workplaces,” he said.
With the growth of technology, there needs to be the ready and available talent to operate and maintain the ICT infrastructure present and create innovations critical to the country.
Huawei, he noted, has also signed partnerships with 50 institutions of higher learning such as Kabete National Polytechnic, to become Huawei ICT Academies. This enables their lecturers to offer courses on various emerging technologies including Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence, and the Internet of Things among others.
The Huawei Seeds for the Future program recognizes the skill gap that exists in the technology sector today across the globe and seeks to bridge the talent gap through training. The program’s success is partly due to close collaboration with students, academia, the ICT Authority under the Ministry of ICT, and various other stakeholders, and helps build a stronger and more sustainable ICT and talent ecosystem.