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Partnerships with Huawei make Kenya more resilient

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Will Meng, CEO, Huawei Kenya. PHOTO | COURTESY

Summary

  • It is through the partnership with Huawei that saw Dr Fengchun Miao, Chief of Technology and Artificial Intelligence in Education at Unesco, hail the government’s commitment to developing digital skills saying it is an “innovative digital solution for people who cannot afford the cost of education”.

As Kenya weathers through the shockwaves of the pandemic, the tech company Huawei has been engaged in a number of initiatives in partnership with the government, carriers, and other partners in preparing the economy for life after the crisis.

Collaborating with the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, through Ajira, Presidential Digital Talent programme, and ICT competition, among others, the tech giant supported the Fursa vs Virus competition which saw youths develop solutions towards the fight against the pandemic.

“We are particularly grateful to Huawei for covering internet costs for the entire Fursa vs Virus Challenge period as well as proving 147 tablets and three laptops for the winners,” said President Uhuru Kenyatta when he announced the winners of the Fursa vs Virus competition.

To create contactless online education systems for educators and students, Huawei ICT Academy Kenya worked alongside its partners for higher learning under the Learn ON programme to provide high-quality resources on an open platform and financial support to ensure education continuity.

The programme, so far, has seen over 2,000 beneficiaries among them over 1,000 have been provided with data bundles to access the training remotely. The Huawei ICT Academy Development Incentive Fund (ADIF), has seen more than 100 online Train the Trainer (TTT) sessions provided since April, and 54 lecturers trained.

"The successful experiences shared and the commitment of Huawei to work collaboratively towards advancing digital solutions and ‘Tech for All’ skills give hope in building resilient education systems now and beyond Covid-19," said Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director of UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa.

Over 30 Universities in Kenya are Huawei ICT Academy Kenya partners, with students being provided with data bundles to access virtual training and resources from the Huawei ICT Academy platform.

In addition, Huawei, in partnership with Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, and other partners, is currently offering training to youth in remote areas within Kenya through its Digitruck project. So far, the programme has had covered several counties, and the goal is to cover the entire country.

It is through the partnership with Huawei that saw Dr Fengchun Miao, Chief of Technology and Artificial Intelligence in Education at Unesco, hail the government’s commitment to developing digital skills saying it is an “innovative digital solution for people who cannot afford the cost of education”.

The seventh cohort of students participating in Huawei’s global Seeds for the Future programme that kicked off in Nairobi on September 16 saw 60 university students acquire skills for emerging technologies such as 5G, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, and Big Data.

Huawei Kenya CEO, Mr Will Meng, underscored the need to support the ICT sector. “It’s why we invest so much in supporting Kenyan ICT talent, which will not only drive the tech industry but also power other industries. We hope these students will go on to play a significant role in this country's development,” he said.

And while the government encouraged citizens to embrace contactless payments during the pandemic, Huawei is supporting its partner to keep the digital payment system running.  Huawei is also effectively managing local telecommunication networks as well as Konza, among others.