President of Huawei Southern Africa, Chen Lei has said technologies is getting through the pandemic and can also derives economic benefit in the post-lockdown era.
Lei stated this in statement, stating that African governments have responded quickly to the demand, releasing temporary spectrums and making policy recommendations as the President’s 4IR commission has done in South Africa.
The statement read in part: “For most of us, 2020 has been a year of almost dramatic, almost traumatic change. As individuals, our lives have been transformed; as businesses, our operating models have been revolutionised; and as a society, we have been shaken to the core.
“Another strategy for building a better Africa through ICT is to invest in digital skills. According to GSMA, only 28% of Africa’s 1.3 billion citizens subscribe to the mobile internet, compared to the global average of 48%.Connectivity is not just about coverage and speed, but also usage and inclusion.
“In Angola, our digital power solutions have brought down energy costs at base stations by as much as 70%, effectively reducing the carbon footprint of operators.
“Huawei ICT Academies have been set up in more than 400 top universities in 17 African countries, producing more than 50 000 certified graduates.
“Across the economy the pace of change is already enormous. Last week, when we launched a 5G lab in Wits University, Professor Adam Habib, the Wits vice-chancellor told us how Wits had moved completely online
within three weeks during the pandemic– a process that was previously planned to take three years.
“Some of these policy moves – recently announced by minister of communications, telecommunications and postal services Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams – have included a commitment to invest in human capital, establishing an artificial intelligence institute, setting up a platform for advanced manufacturing and supporting data security to enable innovation,” the statement added.
Lei urged government to enable ICT-led development through policies to ensure rapid deployment of infrastructure, lower the cost of spectrum, and provide tax relief to make smartphones more affordable.
“We aim to bring digital to every person, home and organisation for a fully connected, intelligent world. In South Africa, one way we’ve been doing this is by employing Huawei’s AI to help customers predict and manage networks, improving operations efficiency by more than 30%.For ICT to better play its role as growth accelerator and social equalizer. We need to connect more households and businesses,” the statement added.