Tech giant Huawei officially inaugurated its upgraded regional training center for East Africa, promising to prepare Kenya’s workforce for the future of work through rigorous application training emerging technologies to solve the country’s economic and social challenges.
The training center, located at the African Institute of Advanced Telecommunications (AFRALTI) along Waiyaki Way, is equipped with the latest innovative equipment in 5G connectivity, cloud networks, smart energy solutions and equipment for to provide practical training courses on the Fourth Industrial Revolution. (4IR).
The site, which was officially launched on June 9, is expected to provide training to university students, telecom operators, government ICT officials, network entrepreneurs and industry partners on the latest global trends in application of technologies. modern technologies in all sectors.
It was unveiled by the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of ICT, Mr. Jerome Ochieng, representing the Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Joe Mucheru, alongside the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Ambassador Samuel Nabukwesi, Director of the ‘East Africa at UNESCO, Ms. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Huawei Southern African Vice-Presidents Mr. Duan Xue Peng and Mr. Frank Yang.
Mr Ochieng noted that skill gaps across all industries are poised to widen in the 4IR with the draft Digital Economy Strategy 2021 calling for a refocus on developing the skill sets and values required for that all Kenyans acquire the skills and expertise required for the digital economy.
“I applaud Huawei’s commitment to build and equip this training center to develop and retrain our local workforce,” he said.
Huawei’s East Africa Regional Training Center, which started operations in 2008, has trained more than 7,200 people across the region, helping to build the ICT ecosystem through development talents.
Kenya’s digital economy
Over the years, the center has moved and expanded, adding more physical network equipment for training, with the latest incarnation being even more focused on providing hands-on experience and skills with multiple base stations. , antennas, indoor and outdoor cabinets and equipment rooms, solar and hybrid energy installations, poles for aerial fiber, manholes for underground fiber, and even a living room mockup to learn how to install household fiber and wi -fi.
The ICT sector has been one of the fastest growing for several years, but during the pandemic it has seen tremendous growth as lockdowns necessitated the adoption of advanced technologies.
According to the Kenya Communications Authority, Kenya’s digital economy has grown rapidly, thanks to extensive 4G coverage that now covers 96.3% of the population.
The fiber-optic internet network being built in homes also grew by more than 15% year-on-year, with Safaricom partnering with Huawei and Nokia to install more 5G base stations across the country.
Over the next few years, Kenya could experience the highest adoption of emerging technologies on record, making cloud computing, artificial intelligence, data science and blockchain skills more desirable for any professional or business looking to make an impact. in the 4IR.
It is for this reason that Huawei believes that the launch of a training complex for these technologies could determine Kenya’s position in the global digital economy.
The rapid growth and rapid changes in technology currently require continued investment in the development of talent at all levels by those in the public and private sectors.
Amb Simon Nabukwesi, Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Education, said digital talent has become the most crucial asset in the current economic revolution.
Foster talent development
“Talent is the industry’s most important resource and we need to invest in skills and development of the ICT sector. I would like to commend Huawei for cultivating and nurturing talent which in turn will bridge the existing knowledge and skills gap in Kenya, ”Nabukwesi said. mentionned.
“As we embrace technology for all, we are opening up space in Africa for the quantum leap we need across all sectors,” Ndong-Jatta said.
She urged Huawei to continue to use its expertise as a global leader in telecommunications solutions to foster talent development.
Huawei said it will remain committed to developing Kenya’s ICT ecosystem, having demonstrated this over the past 10 years through partnerships with government, academia and non-governmental organizations.
The programs are the Seeds for the Future program, the ICT Academy program, the Digitruck initiative, in addition to supporting the Presidential Government Digital Talent Program and the Ajira Digital Program.
Duan Xue Peng, vice president of Huawei Southern Africa, said Huawei’s investment in the new training center is just one example of commitments that will have long-term benefits for Kenya.
“At Huawei, we are constantly exploring ways to innovate and create an environment for the growth of the industry. It is essential that we not only develop the best technologies, but also develop the best people overall. industry to install and use them. technologies. “
Several Huawei university partners also joined the launch with Professor David Mburu, representing Vice Chancellor Professor Victoria Wambui Ngumi Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), saying she expects the center empowers the workforce in the country and region by providing relevant ICT. skills and training necessary for the digital world to enable them to participate fully in economic, social and cultural development.