Huawei aims to help SA get smart

Lineo Leteba 

Huawei board director Tao Jingwen spoke of the mobile company’s vision of creating a fully connected and smart world at the 4th Industrial Revolution for South Africa (4IRSA) Digital Economy Summit 2019 in Johannesburg earlier today. 

In his address, Jingwen said the main vision and mission of Huawei was to bring more advanced technology to South Africa, including 5G, artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud, to revolutionise all industries. 

“I think AI will change the world. It will influence the whole of industry and change the job ecosystem,” said Jingwen.

He said most people were concerned that technology would affect the job ecosystem in a negative way. There had been panic in relation to previous industrial revolutions. He gave as an example the fear that “the car will take my job”, which was prevalent when motor vehicles began to replace horse-drawn transport.

“We want to build a training centre, because skill is the most important thing,” he said.  “We want young people to have enough skills to achieve this [revolution].” 

Huawei was aiming to tackle these issues by bringing in smart technology to improve the skills of South Africans, and it was also looking to get more applications.

Jingwen said the company wanted to empower 6 000 people a year through training centres, and with the aid of the 4IR it would use new technologies to improve networked remote education.

In May, Huawei South Africa launched a 5G training course for ICT postgraduates at two universities in Gauteng for free, and it mentioned plans to expand the programme across the country. This was during the inaugural events held at Wits University and at the University of Pretoria. 

“The industry will create more jobs,” Jingwen told the Digital Economy Summit.