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Huawei Technologies Kenya in partnership with The Brains Network and the Ministry of Education Kenya held the 6th Innovation Africa conference from the 20th to 22nd September 2016.

The conference brought together various Information Communications and Technology ministers from over 20 African states as well as high level experts to shed more light on the education and ICT sector in Africa.

Huawei’s key note speaker Mr. Nigel Bruin the principle consultant stated that, Building a strong digital infrastructures is the first step to realizing effective economic transformation. Policy makers were also urged to increase ICT investment as a percentage of GDP to expand mobile broadband nationwide, Reduce tariffs and subsidize Smartphone adoption to get smart devices into homes, Open telecoms market to widen coverage and make broadband affordable through competition and plan high-speed broadband through 4G and FTTH rollout

What is the state of connectivity and the ICT Ecosystem in Africa?

Improved  broadband access/connectivity, LTE coverage ,increase in the number of operators and improvement in the  policies governing the ICT sector, universal access, ICT skills, and e-applications

Major cities and town are undeniably better connected. However most areas are still in need national broadband strategies to guide infrastructure development especially the rural areas . Regulatory environments have been even slower to change due to increased complexity brought on by the convergence of technologies. ICT projects cannot be successfully realized without awareness of ICTs and a core group of advanced IT professionals. Increase in  public-private partnerships that focus on national broadband projects, by supporting policy advances, and by developing ICT skills training.

Why was it important for Huawei to be present at the innovation Africa 2016?

As a  leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, Huawei  presence in this event showed  its commitment in creating maximum value for Africans. Huawei’s vision is to enrich life through communication. Our key strategies in Sub-Sahara Africa include Customer-Centric, Green Innovation, and Social Responsibilities.

By leveraging our experience and expertise in the ICT sector, we help bridge the digital divide in Africa by providing opportunities to enjoy broadband services, regardless of geographic location. Contributing to the sustainable development of the  African society,  its economy and the environment.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, we have set up 3 regional head offices and 12 representative offices and technical service centers across the continent. We have also established 5 training centers which provide training for more than 12,000 Africans every year including staffs, customers, partners and  students.

What is Huawei doing to help improve connectivity in Africa?

Through the 5 technology enablers ,a true digital economy must look beyond broadband and the Internet, and synergy of  the other four tech ICT enablers namely  namely Broadband, Data Centers , Cloud , Big Data, Internet of Things .

Huawei has been providing the latest ICT solutions to telecos and other vendors at subsidized costs. Communication and computing network forms the foundation of connectivity, Cloud Services enables the distribution, adoption and access to the communications and computing foundation, Big data analytics runs on top to convert data into information and information into solutions and innovation, IoT turns most things into autonomous computing systems that collect data, provide solutions, and drive innovation. Future technologies riding on smart IoT drive augmented innovation. A true digital economy must look beyond broadband and the Internet, so policy makers need to plan how to use and synergize the other four tech ICT enablers.

What is Huawei doing to help improve Africa’s ICT Ecosystem?

Huawei aims  to serve as a platform for growth, and support strong alliances that push the industry forward and promote ongoing social progress. Our  guiding principles for cultivating a sound ecosystem in the cloud era include :

  • Making a bigger pie (i.e., market) which is more important than fighting for a larger share.
  • Managing cooperation which is more important than managing competition.
  • Benefit sharing being the  driving force behind the evolution of the ecosystem – and the result of its successful development.

To better prepare for inherent uncertainties in our future smart society, Huawei will unite as many people as it possibly can, grow the market, and share benefits more expansively. Huawei has only set its sights on 1% of the huge digital transformation pie, leaving the rest to its partners.

What are some of the challenges facing the ICT Ecosystem in Africa?

Lack of connectivity, capacity building, creativity and regional collaboration.