Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, called for more investment of attention and resources into the ICT industry in Africa at the Fourth Entrepreneur Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.
Increased investment will help spur local social and economic development and drive the implementation of initiatives that will ensure equal and safe broadband for all people across the world.
"A digital divide exists today because of the uneven pace of information development across different geographic areas," said Chen Lifang, 'Senior Vice President of Huawei, in her keynote speech. "This divide stifles local social development, which in turn creates a new imbalance between global economic structures and economic growth. An important goal of the ICT industry is to bridge the digital divide in order to provide equal access to the information society, thereby contributing to social equality and ensuring balanced development across geographic areas."
Since its entry into the African market in 1997, Huawei has been committed to taking root in this region. This is evidenced by Huawei's efforts to bridge the digital divide and contribute to the harmonious and sustainable economic, social, and environmental development in local areas. In its early days in Africa, Huawei developed multiple new energy solutions that leveraged local natural resources, such as wind and solar energy. In addition to improving the stability of local communications and cutting costs, these solutions significantly reduce carbon emissions.
More recently, Huawei hosted the "Broader Way" forum to proactively communicate with governments, carriers, and telecom industry organizations from all over the world in order to drive balanced development across all geographic areas and offer equal access to information services. In 2011, Huawei launched its Instant Network solution in Africa, which provides instant communications services, not only in developing areas, but also in areas affected by natural disasters where local communications is disrupted. Huawei has also established networks that add momentum to economic growth in rural areas in Cote d'Ivoire and Nigeria, and has deployed E-Government networks for 18 African countries, enabling over 250 million people scattered in remote areas to enjoy modern communications services.
As part of Huawei's commitment to local communities in Africa, it works to equip the local people with the capabilities necessary to develop a digital society through the creation of jobs and programs that nurture professionals in the ICT industry. Of the 5,800 Huawei employees working in Africa, 60% are local hires. Huawei has established six training centers in Africa, which supply over 12,000 communications and technology professionals to the African market each year. Huawei also set up scholarship funds and ICT laboratories to transfer knowledge to the local market.
In the closing of her speech, Chen said, "As ICT technology develops in the direction of IP, broadband, and smart devices, African people have increasingly more requirements and expectations for their information and communications services. In response to this, Huawei will continue to invest and develop in Africa over the long term and work with African customers and partners to provide ubiquitous broadband access."