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Technology will accelerate SDGs

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Technology will drive inclusive, sustainable growth that is needed for countries to achieve the United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) are aimed at ending poverty and safeguarding the planet.
Speaking at the Responsible Global Business Forum being held in Johannesburg, Huawei South Africa Deputy CEO, Jacky Zhang says: “While the goals are wide-ranging, they have one thing in common: they all rely on the enabling power of technology.”
The Responsible Business Forum brings together various stakeholders including international business, government and NGO leaders to workshop how to accelerate inclusive growth to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals.
Referencing Huawei’s recently published 2017 ICT Sustainable Development Goals Benchmark Report, Zhang said their research showed a 90% correlation between ICT investment and progress in meeting six key SDGs. These goals include Good Health and Well Being, Quality Education, Smart Cities and Communities and Climate Action.
On SDG 4 which deals with quality education, Zhang said, “Huawei has seen how ICT, especially fast connectivity, can create new learning platforms and make radical improvements in the quality and availability of education. That was the key finding from our SDG 4: Education White paper also released this year.”
These technologies include game-based learning, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.
Huawei Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Holy Ranaivozanany, says education is a core CSR activity for the ICT firm and participating in the Responsible Business Forum was an opportunity to foster collaboration and the innovation of ideas.
Ranaivozanany participated in a breakaway session dealing with Quality Education; she added that Huawei is very committed to capacity building within the ICT sector.
“The company has two key CSR activities aimed at up-skilling local ICT professionals and growing the skills base in this sector, they are the Seeds for the Future and the Seeds for the Future and the Huawei Authorised Information and Network Academy (HAINA). This sees Huawei partner with government and tertiary institutions to deliver practical training for ICT students and graduates,” says Ranaivozanany.
Predictions are that, within the next five to 10 years, we will be living in a super-connected world. With the connections created by the Internet of Things (IoT), our broadband networks will have to support about 100-billion connections by the year 2025.
“That’s why we at Huawei believe our most important contribution is to build secure and stable networks that will support ICT as an enabler for sustainable development and growth. We are investing in technological innovations that will help build a better-connected world, reduce the burden on the environment, and enrich the lives of billions of people,” says Zhang.
He cites the company’s successes in Kenya where more than 200-thousand residents now use Huawei’s digital clinics and telemedicine platform, this has helped dramatically reduce medical costs and improved access to healthcare.
Another Kenyan success story is Huawei’s WTTx broadband access solution that uses wireless technology to provide a fiber-like experience to households. Both in densely populated urban areas and also in vast, remote rural areas, WTTx has lowered the costs of last-mile broadband access by 75% compared to fixed networks. Now more people can integrate with the outside world.