Toneo Tonderai Rutsito
Information Communication Technologies, Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira Huawei recently launched Huawei’s 2016 ICT Roadshow at Rainbow Towers during the Council of SADC ICT Minister’s meetings. The launch was witnessed by four ICT Ministers from South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia and Lesotho and the Chinese Ambassador Huang Ping.The high powered delegation also witnessed the kick off the Seeds for the Future program for Zimbabwe, an initiative which is being driven by Huawei in partnership with Zimbabwe ICT Ministry and was officially commissioned by the President Mugabe.
In his remarks Minister Mandiwanzira expressed gratitude to the Chinese government for the direct investments into local ICTs and their perseverance in building a knowledge based society
“I would like to thank Chinese government and China EXIM Bank for providing the facilities to help NetOne and we commend Huawei’s delivery of the 75 percent of the Mobile Broadband project so far,” he said.
According to an report compiled by Potraz this project has directly increased network coverage in Zimbabwe by 45 percent and till now the total national subscribers increased by 51 percent by the end of 2015 compared with the third quarter of 2014.
“We urge Huawei to continue to apply more ICT solutions here to enable the development of other industries, like the solutions of Safe City and National Data Center, to support the Zim-Asset,” added the minister
Seeds for the Future Programme is Huawei’s flagship corporate responsibility program which has trained over 10 000 students from 150 universities across 54 countries to-date. The Students embark on a two-week, hands-on learning experience. They are given the opportunity to work closely with ICT experts in Huawei’s industry-leading research laboratories in China.
Establishing a deeper understanding of the latest digital innovation, products, and solutions, the program is designed to nurture young Zimbabwean talent within the ICT sector.
The Zimbabwe Seeds for the Future Program was commissioned by President Mugabe during his state visit to China when Huawei initially initiated it in Beijing in August 2014.
In Zimbabwe 10 students with ICT major from 5 Universities have already benefited from it last year.
At the end of June this year, another 10 students will go to Huawei headquarter in China to gain more ICT skills.
During the inauguration, the students that participated in the 2015 Seeds for the Future program shared their experience in China, and handed over their essays on ICT subjects written during the program in China to the Chinese Ambassador and the Ministers to show their appreciation.
Ambassador Ping, spoke highly of the CSR program implemented by Huawei and the Ministry of ICTPCS and commended them for empowering locals to become producers not consumers.
“There is a saying called teach a man how to fish instead of giving him a fish. That is why we think knowledge exchange and skill transfer are so important between the co-operation of our two countries. I am glad to witness the launch the program of this year to see more students get benefits from it. “
As a responsible corporate citizen in Zimbabwe, the ambassador said he was so proud of the research and essays contributed by these young talents acknowledged Huawei for making huge contribution to bridging the digital divide and urged them to continue doing more to promote the bilateral relationship of the two countries.
Huawei Zimbabwe’s managing director Albert Yang reiterated Huawei’s commitment to growing together with Zimbabwe: “Huawei has persevered against all odds growing with Zimbabwe for over 18 years and is looking forward to contribute more to the ICT development in Zimbabwe, enriching people`s life through better and faster connections.
“Both Huawei ICT roadshow and Seeds for the Future program are in line with our vision to building a better connected Zimbabwe.”
Huawei has persevered against all odds growing with Zimbabwe over the past 18 years of experience within Africa’s ICT industry, this proves its capabilities in building a better connected Zimbabwe.
The countries of the Southern and Eastern Africa have shown great enthusiasm for investing and innovating within the broadband ecosystem over the past few years.
These countries are at different stages of ICT development but unfortunately, 90 percent of the population still cannot access broadband at home so therefore we are currently far behind more advanced markets.
Huawei has a presence in most of the 54 African countries where it works closely with telecom operators to modernise their respective networks and with governments to support ICT infrastructure deployment and digital transformation practice.
It is dedicated to be a contributor of providing ICT access to people in Zimbabwe and to the whole continent of Africa, to bridge the digital divide by increasing network coverage and offering affordable devices.
The Huawei 2016 ICT Roadshow ran from June 1st to June 3rd?showcasing the most innovative ICT solutions in areas of modernised data center, cloud computing, lamp site, eLTE solution and devices.