Feb 2022 2nd Edition

Tech training leads to rhino poaching solution

Written by Kgaogelo Letsebe

South Africa’s Seeds for the Future team placed in the top 10 of the Tech4Good global competition, which encourages the use of technology to solve both local and global issues.Vhuthuhawe Munyai is part of South Africa’s Seeds for the Future Class of 2021.

The group of 12 youngsters impressed the judges with their innovative take on how technology can help combat rhino poaching.

Team South Africa 2021 was selected from over 200 candidates from 20 universities and colleges across seven South African provinces.

Their creation, ‘SA-Tech − South Africa’s Intrusion Detection System’, uses together cameras and motion sensors to feed information into the cloud to help detect poachers.

Vhuthuhawe Munyai (20) says his team chose rhino poaching because of how often rhinos are killed in South Africa.

“South Africa has the majority of the world’s rhinos and, unfortunately, we are the country that experiences the most poaching. Our project will not only help protect these species, but also protect rangers from poachers.”

Successful collaboration

In 2016, South Africa joined Huawei’s prestigious global training programme, Seeds for the Future, through a collaboration between Huawei and the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT). 

The programme aims to develop local Information Communication Technology (ICT) talent, prepare students for the world of work and bridge the digital divide. To date, 90 students have gone through the programme, which includes an exchange programme hosted in Beijing, China.

“I've always yearned to go to China and explore its technology, because – as the world can see – China is the most technologically advanced country, and it’s leading for a reason. "I’m sure being exposed to Huawei will light up my career path,” says Munyai. He is completing his Bachelor of Science degree in mathematical sciences at the University of Limpopo.

DCDT Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni says she hopes that the beneficiaries of the initiative appreciate the value of the programme and act like true seeds – multiplying themselves for the benefit of the country, the SADC region, and the continent.

She confirmed that the partnership will continue for the foreseeable future. “This is part of our commitment to support young people in the ICT sector to become job creators,” says.

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