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Comms ministry, Huawei in ECape 5G training mission

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Minister of communications and digital technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.
Minister of communications and digital technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.

The Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) and Huawei SA will  tomorrow kick-start 5G training for a group of 100 final-year IT students at the Walter Sisulu University (WSU).

Last year, Huawei revealed it had partnered with the department to roll out free online and on-site training in 5G and fourth industrial revolution (4IR) technologies. 

According to Chinese telecommunications firm, the programme, which started at Wits University and the University of Pretoria last year, aims to train up to 5 000 students online, and 1 000 on-site at partner universities across SA.

In an effort to address skills gaps, government has made concerted efforts to increase skills development and equip citizens with the necessary skills to thrive in a digital society.

In 2018, DCDT minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams announced a bold vision to train one million young people in data science and related skills by 2030.

According to the department, the inaugural WSU training will take place at the Mthatha Campus on 21 and 22 February, while the combined Butterworth and East London leg is scheduled for 24 and 25 February.

“The 5G training is designed to enable students to understand 5G protocol standardisation, key industry applications, ecosystems, network architecture and key technologies. It forms part of the minister’s multi-stakeholder collaboration of ‘Building A Capable 4IR Army’ and will be rolled out at other identified institutions across the country.”

Huawei SA CEO Spawn Fan adds: “We’re proud to partner with Walter Sisulu University. We appreciate that WSU is a developmental university, focused on urban renewal and rural development through science, technology and innovation, which aligns perfectly with Huawei’s vision.

“This forms part of Huawei’s ICT Talent Ecosystem Program to grow and support ICT training in South Africa, especially in the latest technologies of 5G, artificial intelligence as well as cloud and data services. Digital skills transfer is critical for today’s students to gain capabilities relevant in the emerging 4IR era.

“This era is underpinned by the mass connectivity of 5G – hence Huawei’s commitment to 5G training. Fifth-generation cellphone technology is a key part of 4IR, which is changing the way we live, work, play and consume services. Research predicted that by 2020, 70% of all jobs would have an ICT component.”

The department says following the training in Mthatha, Ndabeni-Abrahams will conduct a local engagement with various stakeholders to unpack the State of the Nation Address and discuss pertinent ICT sector issues that will enable citizens to harness opportunities presented by emerging technologies.

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