Huawei launches modern center to boost training on emerging technologies in East Africa

Huawei's manufacturing plant in France is expected to open in 2023. (File photo: CFP)

China's telecommunications firm Huawei has launched an upgraded and expanded training center on emerging technologies to spur the fourth industrial revolution across the east African region.

"I commend Huawei's commitment to build and equip this training facility and upskill and reskill our local workforce," Jerome Ochieng, principal secretary in Kenya's Ministry of ICT said in a statement issued on Friday.

The revamped East Africa Regional Training Center, based in Nairobi, will be a knowledge hub on the latest technology in mobile networks, fiber networks, energy solutions, and integrated telecommunications infrastructure. It is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment designed to provide practical skills to telecommunication operators, government ICT officers, network contractors, university students, and corporate employees.

Kenya's Digital Economy Strategy 2021 roots for developing a critical mass of skilled personnel to ensure the country reap the benefits of the fourth industrial revolution.

Ochieng said the launch of Huawei's supported training center will help bridge the skills gap and spur the growth of the digital economy in the country.

The center started operations in 2008 and has trained over 7,200 people across the region, hence making significant contributions to the establishment of a robust ICT ecosystem through nurturing talents and skills. Over the years, it has evolved to focus on providing practical skills on installing home fiber and wireless networks, hybrid energy installations, antennas, and poles for aerial fiber.

Duan Xue Peng, vice president, Huawei Southern Africa said the launch of the revamped training center marked a milestone in efforts to create a critical pool of skilled workforce required to support the growth of Kenya's digital economy.

"It is critical that we not only develop the best technologies but also develop the best people across the whole industry to install and use those technologies," said Duan, noting that they plan to utilize it widely to benefit as many people as possible and put Kenya at the forefront of ICT.

Therese Ndong-Jatta, director of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Regional Office for Eastern Africa said that skills upgrade is key to spur a digital revolution in the continent.