Two transformative forces, digitalisation and decarbonisation, are currently driving humanity towards an intelligent world according to Leo Chen, President of Huawei Sub-Saharan Africa.
He made the remark in his opening keynote for AfricaCom 2023, Africa’s largest tech conference, currently underway in Cape Town，
Africa, he said, can ride a new wave of digital-physical convergence”, which marks a new phase of digitalisation, to leapfrog development in the digital economy era.
To achieve these goals, Chen believes that “Africa’s first priority must be to accelerate the development of connectivity infrastructure. That is because, in the future, more people, things, and applications will be connected.
“This process will generate far more data than it does today. So, we need a more secure, reliable, and developed network to act as the foundation for digitalisation.”
This infrastructure, he pointed out, should be more advanced, more future-proof, and more inclusive and accessible.
“Achieving the first of these simply means ensuring that African countries have access to the same leading-edge connectivity technology as the rest of the world, such as Huawei’s 4G, 5G and even 5G-advanced solutions,” he stressed.
Chen noted that infrastructure should support future application scenarios, like smart solutions in vertical industries and smart homes adding that inclusive connectivity remains a significant challenge on the continent.
For example, Chen said, “Huawei’s cost-effective wireless RuralStar solution can provide remote areas withbroadband coverage, access to the Internet, and digital services. This bridges the digital gap and enablesinclusive development,”
According to Chen, embracing the full capabilities of the cloud is another important facet of digitalisation for African countries.
“It is important that African countries establish national cloud data centres to provide computing resources to the governments, public and SMEs,” he said. “This will drive the innovation ecosystem.
“By establishing ‘e-Government Clouds’”, he added, “Governments can improve operational efficiency, and provide citizens with one-stop and innovative services.”
Using cloud service is also a simple and economical way for African countries to obtain AI capabilities.
For example, as the world’s fastest-growing cloud service provider, Huawei Cloud is equipped with the Pangu AI model which is ‘born for industry’, and can also be used in Africa for agriculture, and disaster prevention and mitigation, improving the livelihood of African people.
Chen also highlighted the fact that it is ‘people’ that drives all these innovations. “This is why Huawei has always put digital talent cultivation at the centre of the digital ecosystem,” he said.
“Over the past five years, Huawei has trained 100 000 digital talents in Sub-Saharan Africa. Between 2022 and 2025, we will train another 100 000.” He said.
He said Huawei believed in localised joint innovation, and are proud of being supporting the world well-known M-Pesa and Mobile Money innovations in Africa.
“To accelerate digital Africa is to create a prosperous and sustainable Africa,” Chen concluded. “To this end, we are ready to work with all parties to achieve this great mission.”
As a key participant and sponsor at AfricaCom, Huawei presented its latest technologies and solutions in a 350- meter exhibition and supported and organized four forums, including the African Ministerial Forum for aFuture-Oriented Digital Infrastructure, Africa Fibre Forum 2023, Africa Operations Transformation Forum 2023, and the Africa 5G Summit.