In a bid to propel Africa into a technologically vibrant future, Chinese telecommunication giant, Huawei, has announced a $430 million investment to pave the way for progress and connectivity across the continent.
The company announced the initiative during the Huawei Connect event in Shanghai, which marked the return of live events after the global health crisis. The event, which took place between September 20 and 22, focused on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Huawei’s commitment to empowering the African continent.
Titled “Accelerate Intelligence for New Africa,” Huawei’s renewed strategy is more than a roadmap; it is “a comprehensive blueprint for Africa’s digital and technological future,” said the company in a press release.
Huawei underlined that Africa’s youthful demographic, with 60% of its population aged 25 or younger, makes it an ideal ground for digitalization, projecting the continent’s youth to be a significant catalyst for growth.
In addition, the statement highlighted Africa’s potential in green energy as a distinctive advantage in the era of artificial intelligence. Recognising these prospects, Huawei’s strategy revolves around the integration of smart technologies, especially AI, into key sectors like health, education, transportation, finance, agriculture, and mining.
President of Huawei Northern Africa Terry HE outlined the strategy’s core action areas, which include expanding coverage and quality of essential services to improve lives.
In addition, the strategy aims to boost governmental management and strengthen the business and commercial environment. Another key action area is improving operational efficiency, with the aim of driving productivity across key industries.
“Intelligent Future” Plan
To materialise this strategy, Huawei revealed the “Intelligent Future” investment plan for the Northern Africa region, comprising 28 countries north of the equator within Africa.
The ambitious five-year initiative has allocated $200 million to establish the region’s first public cloud center, offering more than 200 cloud services. Meanwhile, an additional $200 million will be allocated to support 200 local software partners and empower 1,300 channel partners.
Huawei will also invest $30 million in talent development, aiming to train 10,000 local developers and educate 100,000 digital professionals to create a skilled workforce for intelligent transformation in the region.
Terry HE emphasised the importance of perseverance, exploration, and investment in every technological evolution, stressing on the need for close collaboration among various stakeholders and communities to achieve these goals.
“To expedite intelligent transformation in Northern Africa, Huawei will intensify its investments in technologies, ecosystems, and talent,” he pledged.
In addition, HE called for united action, urging everyone to work together to “usher in a smarter world in Africa and fulfil the aspirations of its people.”
With 28 locations in the Norther Africa region, Huawei highlighted the continent as a “pivotal element” in their global growth ambitions, emphasising the company’s dedication to Africa’s digital transformation.
This initiative stems from Huawei’s longstanding tradition of supporting digital advancements and fostering growth and innovation in Africa.
During the GITEX Africa 2023 event which took place in Marrakech in June, Huawei reiterated its dedication to the continent’s digital transition, emphasizing three fundamental pillars: digital infrastructure, empowering startups, and improving digital governance to enhance the quality of life.
On the sidelines of the event, Huawei’s Chief Strategy Officer Chakib Achour spoke with passion about the company’s role in Africa’s digital journey and how it actively contributes to the digitization of infrastructure.
“For the digital economy, we are developing [it] vertically, and we can see here some use cases in logistics, transport, mine… and industry,” Achour told Morocco World News.
He noted that Huawei has been instrumental in establishing cybersecurity centers, data centers, and enhancing connectivity for Africa’s technological leap.
Among the challenges African nations face in digitization, accessibility and spread of electricity and connectivity services stand out. Huawei recognizes these challenges and aims to extend support in this domain to bridge the digital divide.
The company showcased a range of connectivity solutions during the event, aiming to provide reliable coverage for urban and rural areas, highways, and remote roads.
“In Senegal, in Cameroon, in Gambia, in all these countries, we provide digital services for the people,” Colin Hu, Huawei’s President Enterprise, and Cloud in Northern Africa, told MWN. “We believe that everyone deserves to have the latest technologies.”