By TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News)
Huawei South Africa and the Department of Communication and Digital Technologies (DCDT) have announced a partnership aimed at enhancing broadband deployment. This partnership involving broadband rollout lays the foundation for a digital economy whilst also providing digital skills training for small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs).
The programmes were officially launched at an event attended by Minister Mondli Gungubele. This initiative is part of a broader cooperation agreement between Huawei and the DCDT, signed earlier this month. Africa Analysis and Digital Council Africa are also key stakeholders in the broadband agreement.
“South Africa has huge socio-economic potential,” commented Minister Gungubele. “What we aim to do is unlock that potential to showcase the power of this country,” he added. The Minister emphasised that the partnership would focus on human capital development and building a skilled SMME sector in South Africa.
The launch took place at the Huawei Innovation Centre, where Will Meng, Huawei South Africa’s Chief Executive Officer, welcomed the partnership. “This collaboration will equip entrepreneurs to start their digital transformation journey and inspire them to adopt a digital-first approach to business,” said Meng.
DCDT and Huawei are also cooperating on an SMME Digital Skill Transformation Programme. The programme is designed to empower South African SMMEs with ICT technologies and further their development in the country’s digital economy. Over 200 trainees from SMMEs have already benefited from this initiative.
In recognition of August being Women’s Month, the organisations combined the annual Women in Tech digital skills training for women entrepreneurs and invited female business owners to join the session. “We hope that the training will help them embrace technologies like high-speed fibre or 5G and explore the benefits of Cloud services for SMMEs,” Meng explained.
Andre Wills, Managing Director of Africa Analysis, offered insights into South Africa’s potential digital future. “When discussing the future, we often talk about enabling technologies,” Wills noted, adding that building a digital society could bring significant social benefits. One example he cited was the increasing role of women in employment once broadband is deployed to households.
Both Meng and Wills believe that women entrepreneurs play a critical role in the South African economy. “Currently, women-led enterprises make up only 21 percent of the formal SME sector. However, as digital infrastructure expands, we expect this to improve rapidly,” Meng said.
In closing, Meng expressed optimism about South Africa’s digital transformation. “Our partnership with DCDT will greatly assist in ensuring that ICT technology drives the economy forward, taking every citizen along with it,” he concluded.
From left: Africa Analysis MD Andre Wills, Huawei SA CEO Will Meng, Communications Minister Mondli Gungubele, and Digital Council Africa CEO Juanita Clark. (Photograph by DCDT)
– CAJ News
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