South African President Cyril Ramaphosa inaugurated Huawei Innovation Center in Woodmead, Johannesburg. This new facility will increase innovation in South Africa for Huawei’s South African partners, app developers, and SMMEs (small, medium, and micro enterprises) in the ICT space. This also showcases Huawei’s latest and most innovative digital technologies and solutions such as 5G, Cloud, and AI.
President Ramaphosa said that facilities like this innovation center, along with the adoption of a range of cutting-edge technologies being pioneered by companies such as Huawei, will enable South Africa and the wider African continent to leapfrog into the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
President Ramaphosa cut the inauguration ribbon and took a tour of the facility. Afterward, he expressed both the solutions at the Innovation Center and the ICT knowledge on display by Huawei employees were, “impressive and encouraging.”
He said that initiatives like the Innovation Center are firmly in line with the South African government’s policy of emphasizing digital technologies for economic development.
“It is our hope that this Innovation Center will be a springboard for the launch of new local ICT enterprises that create jobs,” he said. “We hope it will be a springboard to new business processes that grow our economy and support our national developmental goals.”
Ramaphosa also acknowledged the role of ICT technologies in helping various industries to embark on digital transformation.
“The application of digital technologies to improve production processes spans a broad range of economic sectors from mining to ports to transportation and others,” he said. “Last year, for example, the first 5G coal mine was launched in South Africa through a partnership with Huawei, a partnership between Huawei, and its industry and telecom partners. This center is a signal of Huawei’s confidence in the South African economy and its potential.”
He hope that the Innovation Centre would focus on knowledge and skills transfer, as well as SMME development. He congratulated Huawei’s work in cultivating local digital talent through its LEAP digital talent program, ICT academies, and Tech4All-DigiSchool projects.
“The actions we have taken include the auction of the high-demand spectrum that took place last year, which – alongside digital migration – will significantly expand access to broadband and bring down data costs,” he said. Digital migration refers to South Africa’s shut off of analog broadcast signals and migration to all-digital.
“We’ve been encouraged by the South African government’s strong vision for its digital economy. South Africa is becoming a role model for the continent, as well as on the global stage, in fields such as 5G deployment and 5G-driven industrial digital transformation,” said Leo Chen, President of Huawei Sub-Saharan Africa.