To help African countries and organisations build capacity for Information and Communications Technology transformation, Huawei and the African Telecommunications Union have signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
According to a statement made available to Financial Street on Tuesday, the MoU was signed at ATU’s headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.
It said the tech giant would provide training on skills development, including reskilling and upskilling for ATU members, under the agreement.
The MoU will see the two organisations collaborate to support local innovation, share information on latest trends, challenges and solutions in Africa and across the globe.
It will also help to expand the digital economy as well as rural connectivity in the continent, through furthering research.
A 2019 report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development on digital economies established that Africa and Latin America together account for less than five per cent of the world’s data centres, and if left unaddressed, divides will worsen existing income inequalities Financial Street learnt.
“This, coupled with the fact that in least developed countries, only one in five people use the Internet, compared with four out of five in developed countries,. This is part of the motivation for the Huawei-ATU partnership,” it said.
Huawei’s Vice President, Southern Africa Region, Samuel Chen, said the ATU was playing a critical role in the region supporting member countries in their policies and strategies, sharing best practices, building capacity and driving innovation.
Chen added, “We have connected hundreds of millions of Africans to secure high-speed broadband and cloud solutions in the last two decades and earned the trust and support of our customers and regulators; we look forward to doing even more.”
On his part, the ATU Secretary-General, John Omo, lauded Huawei’s contribution to Africa.
He said, “Huawei has transformed connectivity and made a major contribution to the continent through its investments in digital infrastructure, ICT skills, environmentally-friendly solutions, and cutting-edge technologies for rural areas. The organisation is a trusted development partner of Africa.
“The document we are signing today aims at strengthening this partnership. Africa has a tremendous opportunity to fully grasp the potential from new technologies.”
Huawei and ATU will, with the new agreement, support African countries, regulators and citizens to 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.
The partners will start offering cutting-edge trainings to ATU members, access to global experts to discuss the latest technologies and trends, and collaboration on research to help progress the continent’s digitisation, the statement added.
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