Africa’s digital landscape to continue to grow post-COVID-19 pandemic: Huawei

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Africa’s digital landscape will continue to grow post-COVID-19 pandemic, Huawei said on Saturday.

Chen Lei, president of Huawei Southern Africa, said in a commentary published in the Saturday Standard that many of the technologies that have helped the continent through the worst of the pandemic and the lockdowns, hold the key to success and prosperity in the post-lockdown era.

“The new ways of interaction that emerged this year – characterized by remote work, distance education, remote healthcare, online shopping and mobile money will define how society works in the future,” Chen said.

He said that the move online has happened across society – not only in education but in workplaces, retail as well as entertainment and this move will be permanent.

“This explains why data traffic soared by more than 40 percent while digital services boomed across sub-Saharan Africa,” he noted.

He revealed that African governments have responded quickly to the demand, releasing temporary spectrums and making policy recommendations, such as the ones done by South Africa’s presidential commission on the Fourth Industrialization Revolution.

Chen added that policy moves by governments that open the door for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) companies to make greater contributions to social-economic development should be encouraged.

“Governments can further enable ICT-led development through policies to ensure rapid deployment of infrastructure, lower cost of spectrum, and provide tax relief to make smartphones more affordable,” he said.

The Huawei official said that another strategy for building a better Africa through ICT is to invest in digital skills.

“We need to invest more in digital skills for people, to digitally empower them, so that they can use digital technologies not only for consuming others’ ideas but also to develop their own,” Chen added.

He noted that Huawei is constantly investing skills and infrastructure to provide the networks and give people the ability to use them for their own upliftment.

“We aim to bring digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world,” Chen said.

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