Huawei has launched an Innovation and Experience Centre in South Africa, investing R72-million in the facility, making it the company’s seventh global innovation centre. The centre is expected to enhance local ICT skills, create jobs and secure the country’s position as the continent’s ICT hub.
The Innovation Centre forms part of a co-operative agreement with the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services for Huawei to train and mentor a thousand (1000) local SMEs in ICT skills over the next five years.
Speaking at the launch event yesterday, Huawei’s president of the East and Southern Africa region Li Peng said that this was the company’s way of investing in the country’s economic growth and transformation.
Conveniently located in Sandton, Johannesburg, the centre will be influential in both the early training and further mentorship of trainees, who will also experience training opportunities at Huawei’s head office campus in Schengen, China.
“Today a new round of scientific and technology revolution and industrial revolution is taking shape. New technologies like the Internet, big data, IoT, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and virtual reality keep growing. As China and Africa move through the crucial phase of our development, we can work together to embrace the opportunities from the science and technology revolutions to unleash greater national development potential and create new benefits for our people,” said Li Peng, during the launch of the centre.
According to Peng, the innovation centre is not only a platform for Huawei to showcase the latest ICT solutions but also a centre to enable SA telecoms operators, government agencies and enterprise customers to experience new business models and applications in a real-time environment.
The centre has the latest technology installed in it, including 4.5/5G wireless communication technologies; VR, 4K and mobile video; safe city solutions, smart home solutions; mobile money solutions; voice over LTE and voice over WiFi; transmission, Internet of Things (IoT)/NB-IoT; cloud services, data centre solutions; and smartphones together with wearable devices. It also has meeting rooms, training, offices and demonstration areas.
At the unveiling of the Innovation Centre, Huawei signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Vaal University of Technology (VUT) Science and Technology Park. VUT will be an internationally accredited institution that will provide short courses in ICT among others. VUT will also host Huawei technology professionals and professors to cooperate with the most advanced ICT industry technologies.