Mexican IT students in China for training - AFRICA

Ten Mexican university students traveled to China in early November to receive two weeks of information technology training, Mexico's communications and transport ministry said.

Students earned the opportunity to develop their IT skills in China through Seeds for the Future, a scholarship program organized by Chinese technology giant Huawei, in conjunction with the ministry, the ministry said in a statement.

At a ceremony at Huawei's headquarters in Mexico City to present the winning students with their scholarships, Deputy Communications Minister Edgar Olvera underscored the importance of IT in today's world.

The government has made it a priority to expand Mexican peoples' "access to quality telecommunications services", said Olvera.

China's ambassador to Mexico, Qiu Xiaoqi, congratulated the winners and noted that the educational exchange marked a "great historic moment in Mexico-China ties".

The students will travel to Shenzhen and Shanghai, said Qiu, adding "the first is the city most representative of the growth in technological innovation, and the second is a great cosmopolitan city, as well as China's financial center".

The students, who come from a variety of states throughout Mexico, were selected out of a total of 220 candidates who submitted a two-minute video on the importance of technology for creating a better world, and why they wanted to participate in the scholarship program.

Students will first take a Mandarin course at the Beijing Language and Culture University, before continuing on to Shenzhen, where they will train in cloud computing, intelligent networks and other aspects of IT at Huawei.

Cesar Merino Ibanez, who graduated from the Technological University of the Valley of Oaxaca, in southern Mexico, says the trip is his first time abroad.

"I am very thankful to the Mexican ministry and Huawei, because this kind of opportunity does not occur very often, and I am very grateful to be able to share ... in this cultural exchange and exchange of knowledge," says Ibanez.

In addition to the scholarship program, Huawei provides free internet access at some 45,000 locations across Mexico as part of its corporate social responsibility efforts.