The Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) and Huawei South Africa have signed a partnership agreement, in an effort to help the country reach its ICT development goals.
The deal was signed on the sidelines of the recently-held BRICS Ministers of Communications Meeting in Cape Town, with Huawei SA CEO Will Meng and DCDT director-general Nonkqubela Jordan-Dyani as the signatories.
In a statement, Huawei SA says it will play an advisory and practical role in assisting South Africa to reach its goals in respect of the BRICS ICT Development Agenda and Action Plan, which forms the basis of the agreement, as well as the country’s National Development Plan 2030.
In addition, the company notes it will share “global best practices” of the planning of digital economy policies and technology rollout.
“Huawei will also support the DCDT in its broadband infrastructure development programme, at the same time as giving practical assistance to SMMEs in the country to build technical capacity, especially on fibre broadband deployment.”
South Africa has, through its broadband project SA Connect, set itself a goal to connect 80% of South Africans to the internet over the next three years.
Speaking at the official opening of the Huawei Innovation Centre in Johannesburg last month, president Cyril Ramaphosa stated that SA Connect needs to “work very closely with ICT companies like Huawei”.
“The longer we take to ensure connectivity of the people of South Africa, the longer they are left behind and the longer our economy will take to grow,” he said at the time.
“Huawei is committed to the youth of South Africa and the development of specific skills training that complements academic learning,” says Meng. “It is important to equip young people to join the digital economy and to be employment-ready, and our courses and programmes provide them with that opportunity.”