The African Telecommunications Union (ATU) has signed an MoU with Huawei to help African countries and organizations build capacity for ICT transformation.

Under the agreement, Huawei will provide training on skills development, including reskilling and upskilling for ATU members. The MoU will also see the two organizations collaborate to support local innovation, share information on latest trends, challenges and solutions in Africa and globally. This will aid in the expansion of the digital economy as well as rural connectivity in Africa through furthering research.

A 2019 report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on digital economies unveiled that Africa and Latin America account for less than 5% of the world’s data centers. If left unaddressed, divides will worsen existing income inequalities. These statistics are part of the motivation for the Huawei-ATU partnership.

Speaking during the signing ceremony in Nairobi at the ATU headquarters, Mr. John OMO, Secretary-General of ATU said, “Huawei has transformed connectivity and made a major contribution to the continent through its investments in digital infrastructure, ICT skills, environmentally-friendly connectivity solutions, and cutting-edge technologies for rural areas. The organization is a trusted development partner of Africa. The document we are signing today aims at strengthening this partnership.”

Samuel Chen, Vice President at Huawei Southern Africa region said, “The ATU is playing a critical role in the region supporting member countries with their policies and strategies, sharing best practices, building capacity and driving innovation and we are delighted to be able to support them. We have connected hundreds of millions of Africans to secure, high-speed broadband and cloud solutions in the last two decades and earned the trust and support of our customers and regulators.”

According to the MoU, the partners will offer competitive trainings to ATU members, access to global experts for latest technologies and collaboration on research to help progress Africa’s digitization.