Huawei has called for enhanced cooperation between China and Africa in building a better connected world in order to promote the digital economy in Africa.
As the only representative from the telecommunications industry present at the 5th Conference of Chinese and African Entrepreneurs, a side event of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), Huawei expressed its continued efforts to building a better connected Africa.
During his address at the event, Charles Ding, senior vice-president of Huawei, said: “Huawei has been focused on building a better connected Africa for 17 years. We continuously leverage our global innovation capabilities and cooperate with governments, customers, and industrial partners to increase  telecom network coverage significantly to achieve a win-win cooperation.
“We’ve deployed more than 50% of wireless base stations, over 70% of LTE networks and at least 50 000km of  optical fibre  to provide better telecom connectivity to Africa.  Connectivity is the cornerstone to the development of a  digital economy in Africa.,” he adds.
“ICT talent is the key to develop the digital economy. As a long-term investor in Africa, Huawei leverages its seven training centres in Africa to transfer ICT knowledge. So far, we’ve trained over 30 000 ICT professionals in Africa.
“We also launched our ‘Seeds for the Future’ CSR programme in Africa. Through this programme, we work with local governments and universities to send students abroad, to get work experience and training at our Huawei headquarters. The program has been rolled out in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Angola, and we plan to implement it in more countries in Africa. In the next five years, more than 1 000 students from Africa will have benefited from this ICT talent cultivation programme.”
During the conference, Ding highlighted how advanced ICT infrastructure can contribute positively to a country’s GDP:  “According to the Global Connectivity Index, and research conducted by Huawei,  the construction of ICT infrastructure is critical for a country’s competitiveness. A 20% increase in ICT investment will grow a country’s GDP  by 1%.”
Ding concluded his address by saying: “Huawei looks forward to working together with governments, industrial partners, and enterprises in Africa and China, to build a better connected Africa, ensuring that the digital economy becomes  the bridge of friendship that connects China and Africa.”