Continuous innovation to fuel Africa’s digital future


Huawe Sub-Saharan Africa Region President of Huawei, Leo Chen

from SAVIOUS KWINIKA in Cape Town
CAPE TOWN, (CAJ News) – AFRICA-COM, the continent’s largest technology conference, has made its in-person return following an absence enforced by the COVID-19.

The last edition had been held in 2019.

It has returned to its traditional venue in the Cape Town International Conference Centre (CTICC) under the theme “Lighting up the Future.”

Huawei has a big presence at the event, sharing insight on cutting-edge trends in the telecom industry, including 4G/5G co-development, Firepower Management Centre (FMC) intelligent connectivity, digital operations transformation, and green development leading the future of digital networks in Africa.

During the conference’s opening session, Leo Chen, President of Huawei Sub-Saharan Africa Region, delivered a presentation entitled “Lighting up the Future with Nonstop Innovation.”

He outlined Huawei’s latest ICT development concepts and successful digital transformation solutions.

Chen noted the high resilience and rapid growth of the continent’s digital economy technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, and cloud are evolving rapidly and the adoption of ICT in a wide range of industries is growing.

“They are supporting Africa in advancing the technical revolution, boosting productivity and increasing jobs,” he said.

Chen pointed out that over the last two decades, Africa has made significant progress in digitalisation.

It has established the first-mile infrastructure, connecting countries on the continent to the global internet.

Additionally, Africa has tripled its middle-mile internet infrastructure that expands the connection within and between countries.

However, there are still challenges to be overcome.

“Today, we still need to improve the last-mile broadband infrastructure and bridge the digital divide between urban and rural areas,” Chen said.

While there is appetite for a greater uptake of digital technologies, constraints including a skills deficit, and lack of viable technology solutions are impeding the advance of ICT adoption.

Huawei has set up four innovation centres in Africa, launched several plans to support the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and will train 100 000 digital champions in Africa over the next three years.

“We need to further deepen connectivity to connect more people, enterprises, and scenarios; unleash digital productivity and enable digital transformation in multiple industries; increase the ICT industry’s energy-efficiency and leverage ICT technologies to reduce emissions across all industries,” Chen added.

Of particular relevance to the African context were case studies around the digital transformation of the port and mining sectors in China, which have attracted wide attention from Africa.

Ninety-percent of Africa’s imports and exports travel by sea, and mining is an important source of wealth creation.

At AfricaCom, Huawei is showcasing a range of innovative technologies and solutions, including the Very Large Scale Antenna Array (ELAA), and solutions such as Ultra-Wideband RRU.

This is anticipated to address obstacles such as inconsistent spectrum resources and insufficient fibre optic network reach that are holding Africa back.

– CAJ News

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