Building Lebanon’s local talent ecosystem is key to a connected future
Author: Paul Feng, CEO Levant Region, Huawei
Today, the information and communications technology (ICT) sector forms the building blocks of more intelligent societies. This sector, and the people who work within it, will be helping to drive Lebanon’s industries and businesses forward. This provides the momentum for socio-economic growth while contributing towards the realization of Lebanon Economic Recovery.
A talent-focused and “innovation” mindset is the only way to addresses the requirements of a more digital-centric and sustainable future. A strong talent pool is therefore essential for Lebanon to reap the full benefits of digitalization, to unlock more opportunities for people and business, and to accelerate national recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The essential role of connectivity has never been more prominent than in the last year. Without fast connections provided by advanced telecom networks, video conferencing, cloud computing, and other technologies, the world would have ground to a halt during the lockdowns. Creating new value with synergy across these tech domains is key to the development roadmap of Lebanon.
In particular, the field of education was greatly impacted, yet also took advantage of connectivity and advanced technology solutions. New challenges arose in providing students with the means to advance their education without the use of physical labs, shared equipment, and traditional curriculums. Unfortunately, the digital divide might have widened during this period, setting back gains achieved in recent years.
While digital infrastructure has evolved to combat COVID-19 more broadly, Lebanon will need to simultaneously focus on equipping the country’s youth with advanced technical skills who can rise to be the future leaders in achieving the targets of their country’s ambitious national vision.
That is easier said than done, of course. Throughout many years of being present in Lebanon, we have seen tremendous efforts made by the government and our partners towards growing talent in the ICT arena. Moving forward, continued work is needed as some clear priorities are identified.
For example, encouraging knowledge and experience sharing will create more open ecosystems. These provide more opportunities for technology to evolve in ways that are beneficial to society. Promoting the value of public-private partnerships to nurture an innovation mentality and to foster ICT talent growth is also essential, particularly in terms of practical skills development. Universities must also strive to adapt their curriculum to meet the requirements of ICT talent cultivation in the future, with stakeholders such as government authorities, telecom operators, and ICT vendors making their own contributions through collaborative initiatives, programs, and other activities.
For our part, Huawei is committed to providing the full range of our capabilities in Lebanon, so that people here can avail of the latest breakthroughs in vital areas like 5G, artificial intelligence, cloud, and more. We are keen to share our expertise with all partners in Lebanon while encouraging talent through initiatives such as the Huawei ICT Competition, Seeds for the Future program, Huawei Academy, and more. It is an ongoing journey as we collectively look to bring digital to every person, home, and organization.