by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – TECHNOLOGY holds significant benefits for humanity and digital technology can be an indispensable tool in the United Nations attaining its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This is the view of Catherine Chen, the senior vice president at global technology giant Huawei.
She was delivering a keynote speech at the recent Connected for Shared Prosperity Forum, during the GSMA’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) Shanghai 2021.
Chen said technology could be an engine for human progress.
She called on individuals and businesses to “think big and act small”, while reiterating her support of the SDGs and building a green, innovative and inclusive world.
“Large social changes tend to happen in lockstep with breakthroughs in science and technology,” Chen said.
“But today, technological advancements are hyped and politicised – as has sometimes been the case with 5G.”
Chen pointed out that 5G was in fact a standardised technology defined by its high bandwidth, low latency and broad connectivity.
This, she said could transform traditional industries and benefit all.
“Every day, consumers are benefiting from 5G experiences, while industrial use in seaports, mines, and the transportation sector is increasing operational efficiency. Is this a bad thing? I don’t think so.”
Chen said that while there was always the danger that a new technology could be abused, rules could be established to manage technological risks.
“Many people are already hard at work creating governance rules for cyber security, privacy protection, and trusted AI that will keep us safe. For the rest of us, it’s time to be confident and open to technological development.”
Huawei is deploying digital solutions to empower people and meet UN development goals.
These focus on innovation, reduced inequality and quality education.
In South Africa, Huawei, non-profit organization Click Foundation and network provider rain teamed up, aiming to connect more than 100 urban and rural primary schools to the Internet. The goal is to boost reading comprehension skills and close the digital gap through technology.
In Kenya, it partnered to build Digitrucks, mobile, solar-powered classrooms that bring digital skills to remote, underserved communities.
The Huawei Smart PV solution being used in more than 60 countries was already helping to achieve SDGs, and had reduced carbon emissions by 148 million tons.
In Ethiopia, Huawei has helped customers deploy more than 400 solar power stations, reducing carbon emissions by 2 850 tons.
Huawei and UNESCO have also partnered to launch the Open Schools programme to help schools in Egypt, Ethiopia, and Ghana improve their digital skills through online education.
“In all these examples every single connection, every gram of emissions reduced, every watt of electricity saved, could not have been achieved without small advances in tech,” said Chen.
– CAJ News