from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI – COUNTRIES and organisations in the continent are to build capacity for information and communications technology (ICT) transformation following a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the African Telecommunications Union (ATU) and Huawei.
Under the agreement unveiled in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, Huawei will provide training on skills development, including reskilling and upskilling for ATU members.
The arrangement will also see the two organisations collaborate to support local innovation, share information on latest trends, challenges and solutions in Africa and globally and expand the digital economy as well as rural connectivity in the continent, through furthering research.
This new agreement will support African countries, regulators, and citizens benefit from the transition to a digital economy, adopt new technologies, promote secure and resilient networks, and gain the digital skills necessary to drive their economies forward.
John Omo, Secretary-General of the ATU, praised tech giant Huawei for transforming connectivity and contributing to the continent through its investments in digital infrastructure, ICT skills, environmentally-friendly connectivity solutions, and cutting-edge technologies for rural areas.
“The organization is a trusted development partner of Africa. The document we are signing today (Thursday) aims at strengthening this partnership.”
Omo added, “Africa has a tremendous opportunity to fully grasp the potential from new technologies.”
ATU and Huawei have a long history of collaboration.
“The ATU is playing a critical role in the region supporting member countries with their policies and strategies, sharing best practices, building capacity and driving innovation and we are delighted to be able to support them,” said Samuel Chen, Vice President at Huawei Southern Africa.
He said Huawei had connected hundreds of millions of Africans to secure, high-speed broadband and cloud solutions in the last two decades, during which it earned the trust and support of customers and regulators.
“We look forward to doing even more,” Chen said.
A 2019 report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on digital economies established that Africa and Latin America together account for less than 5 percent of the world’s data centres.
This, coupled with the fact that in least developed countries, only one in five people use the internet as compared with four out of five in developed countries, is part of the motivation for the Huawei-ATU partnership.
– CAJ News