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Tech firm deepens collaborations across Africa

By Otiato Opali in Nairobi, Kenya | | Updated: 2020-11-04 20:06
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A Huawei company logo is pictured at the Shenzhen International Airport in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong province, July 22, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

Technology firm Huawei continues to deepen its collaborations across Africa with various programs aimed at promoting the penetration of digitization across the continent.

In Kenya, the Information Communication and Technology or ICT Authority and Huawei on Nov 3 completed the latest online training for civil servants to bring them the latest knowledge on information and communications technologies trends, e-government, smart city, internet of things and cyber security.

According to the Kenya ICT authority, more than 400 civil servants registered for the first phase of the training over five days that was jointly organized by the ICT authority and Huawei. Second and third phases of the training are already being planned to reach thousands of more civil servants nationwide.

The exercise is part of an ongoing effort by the Kenya ICT Authority of capacity building for the Kenya government employees. The program is also expected to ensure the implementation of ICT standards and secure ICT infrastructure and systems.

According to Katherine Getao, the chief executive at the ICT Authority in Kenya, Huawei experts have trained and certified lecturers from 30 universities and training centers in Kenya through the ICT Academy program. Getao said that it is these local lecturers who are training and collaborating among the government, academia and the private sector.

"The civil servant training is one aspect of a multi-pronged capacity building partnership between Huawei and the Kenya ICT Authority that also includes training Kenyan youth. The ICT Authority of Kenya appreciates our partners who support our ICT capacity building mandate by offering appropriate and cost-effective training programs to our stakeholders. A successful digital economy is founded on a culture of continuous learning," Getao said.

In South Africa, Huawei, Rain and Wits University have jointly launched Africa's first 5G laboratory which gives students access to a live 5G environment to build knowledge of the revolutionary technology's applications for the local market.

The 5G Innovation Lab is part of a longer-term joint innovation program between businesses and the leading academic institution. It is aimed at driving innovations to promote social progress for South Africa in the digital era or fourth industrial revolution

According to Yang Chen, Huawei's Southern Africa Region vice-president, Huawei has committed to provide its end-to-end 5G solution to the South African government.

"We are very encouraged by the efforts of Huawei, Rain and Wits to establish academic research and development capabilities. This is very important as we move into the digital economy. Huawei also runs various cutting edge ICT programs at several South African universities and colleges and this gives our youth a foothold into the fast changing technology space," Yang said.

"We are immensely proud to be part of rolling out this capacity in South Africa, to give students and academics a place to innovate and turn their ideas into reality. We look forward to ground-breaking 5G applications coming out of Wits," Yang added.

Adam Habib, Wits University vice-chancellor, said he has high expectations for the partnership.

"We are working with the pioneers in digital innovation to train a generation of smart, savvy scholars who will transform the world using the latest technology available to effect beneficial change in our world. We are not reimagining the future, we are creating a better future for all today," Habib said.

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