Huawei South Africa has urged ICT policy makers to consider broadband connectivity not just for Internet access, but as an enabler of cloud services, which will leapfrog digitisation of Southern African economies.
Huawei is attending the Southern African Development Community (SADC) ICT Ministers Meeting, taking place at Zimbali outside Durban. The event is being attended by regional government and business leaders for a high-level dialogue around the fourth Industrial Revolution and the challenges and opportunities it brings.
The fourth Industrial Revolution is characterised by the use of new technologies that combine the physical and digital worlds, and is disrupting industries across the world. The World Economic Forum predicts breakthroughs in fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, quantum computing and nanotechnology as part of this revolution.
The SADC meeting seeks to identify what ICT policies, regulation, partnerships and best practices are required for the regional economic community to harness the benefits of ‘Industry 4.0’.
Progress linked to ICT investment
“Today, information communication technologies have become key factors in contributing to economic growth in both advanced and developing countries,” says Dr Bello Moussa, Director of Innovations and Industries Relations at Huawei South Africa.
“I would like to acknowledge and thank Huawei for its contribution to South Africa’s ICT development. As the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, we enjoy a strong partnership with the company, and want to find more ways in which to partner in the future,” said the Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Dr Siyabonga Cwele.
Huawei Technologies is a strong proponent of the use of technology to foster inclusive growth. The company shared its extensive experience in designing and deploying communications infrastructure, and reaffirmed its commitment to developing win-win partnerships with the relevant ministries from participating countries to help them achieve their national ICT goals.
Dr Moussa says, “The impact of ICT on the economy is mostly misunderstood in the developing world, as we tend to think that ICT can only contribute when it is incorporated in heavy industries such as manufacturing. However, even something like the smartphone has changed the way in which people; whether rural or urban, rich or poor – live, work and play.”
In its recently published ‘ICT Sustainable Development Goals Benchmark‘ report, the company found that there was a 90% correlation between ICT investment and progress in a country’s ability to meet six key goals as set out by the United Nations. These goals include good health and well-being, quality education, smart cities and communities and climate action.
“Countries in the region should focus on ICT policies as part of a nation’s economic development strategy to encourage and incentivise digital transformation,” added Moussa. “Broadband is not just about fast Internet access; ultimately its role is to provide access to the cloud services that enables the digital economy – big data and analytics, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, machine learning and more.”
“SADC countries have recognised the need and opportunity to use ICT technologies as a strategic tool for national development. This is a deep transformation of every industry sector and at its heart are broadband connectivity giving access to cloud services. This SADC conference is a great opportunity to reinforce the need for continued attention on bring high-speed Internet to everyone and to also share the best practices in policy making and business development.” concludes Nigel Bruin, Principal Consultant at Huawei.
At the conference, Huawei officially announced the new domain name for Huawei Cloud: www.huaweicloud.com.