Huawei Technologies has invested about $10 million over the past five years to set up three innovation centres in Cairo, according to Vice President of Global Communications at Huawei Technologies Karl Song.
Song's comments came in response to a question by Ahram Online on the solutions Huawei Technologies has provided Egypt with to help the country deal with the challenges imposed by the pandemic.
This came during a roundtable Huawei Technologies held on Thursday on the sidelines of Huawei Connect 2021 annual event that kicked off on Thursday.
The three innovation centres include two industry solution innovation centres at Huawei's Smart Village headquarters in Cairo, which is a carrier-oriented technology innovation and experience centre, and a joint technology innovation centre for various industries.
Song elaborated that the platforms continue to provide Egyptian customers and partners with innovative ICT solutions that meet local needs.
“Huawei has cooperated extensively with more than 120 local partners in Egypt, indirectly providing more than 20,000 jobs in Egypt society,” he added.
He noted that Huawei Technologies has been in Egypt for more than 20 years, thanks to customers' long-term trust.
“Over the past 20 years, we have been widely recognized by customers and partners through long-term cooperation and development together with shared happiness and hardship. Egypt is a country with great potential when it comes to a large population, and with great geographic advantage, stable and strong economy in the Middle East and Africa and Huawei is keen to enable Egypt to be an ICT hub in the region,” Song pointed out.
He added that Huawei focuses on two main pillars in Egypt: developing Egyptian capabilities and skills to lead Egypt towards achieving digital transformation in accordance with Egypt's Vision 2030, and continuing to provide the latest technologies and solutions to its customers and partners.
"Huawei is not only working to provide our partners and Egyptian governments with the latest solutions and technologies and providing employment opportunities, but it is also working to develop the capabilities of young Egyptian people in the field of information and communication technology through two axes. The first is related to internal employees in Huawei and at the level of success partners through training centres in Egypt, and the second is to develop youth capabilities in universities through our pioneering program ICT Talent Bank, a program launched by Huawei in 2019 in cooperation with three ministries: Ministry of Communications, Information Technology, Ministry of Higher Education and Ministry of Manpower,” he explained.
He also added that despite the pandemic, Huawei's training for Egyptian youth has never stopped, pointing out that in 2020 Huawei cooperated with the Egypt’s government and universities to bring talent training online and trained more than 7,500 young Egyptians through more than 430 online courses.
Answering Ahram Online’s question on how digital transformation is aiding the Middle East's efforts, including Egypt’s, to recover from the pandemic, Song illustrated that 2020 has emphasized just how important a solid ICT foundation can be on a national level.
Following accelerated digitalization initiatives in 2020, technology has played a significant role in enabling the continuity of business and public services. Our work in the ICT field has also been paramount to combatting the disease itself, especially through innovations in scientific R&D, data analytics, e-healthcare, and more, according to Song.
“We continued to pursue open partnerships to jointly create greater value for our customers and society at large. In particular, we have kept innovating to help organizations fight the pandemic, and to support both economic recovery and social progress. A foundation of connectivity enabled many countries to cope with a surge in data traffic as a result of work, education, shopping, and even health services moving online”, Song expounded.
He added that emerging digital technologies such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) have also provided new opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to improve operational efficiency, promote innovation, expand their market and financing channels, and facilitate remote operations during the epidemic.
“For example, we provided the Ministry of Health and Prevention in UAE with an autonomous AI-driven vehicle to distribute personal protective equipment to residents and workers in a step that aims at containing the spread of the corona virus. From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Huawei acted immediately to support Egypt during such critical time. The company provided video conferencing system to facilitate the communication between the Egyptian Ministry of Health and the quarantine hospitals. In addition, Huawei’s advanced solutions (data centres, intelligent connectivity solutions) implemented at schools has contributed to the continuity of learning process. We also supported the expansion of connectivity for home broadband to ensure the online learning and the working from home,” he said.
Concerning Huawei Technologies’ future plans in Egypt, Song unveiled that they include opening 100 academies in Egypt within five years, clarifying that that 72 academies have been established, so far, through the cooperation of universities and government, expanding the recruitment platform by cooperating with 100 recruitment companies, and keeping contributing with the Egypt’s government and providing trainings for different levels; students, graduates and engineers in order to make Egypt a centre of excellence.