Huawei Technologies are concerned about technology development in Africa. The company finds its way to partnerships that share their dreams for Africa. They will be the main sponsors of the fifth BRICS Summit, to be held on 26th and the 27th of March 2013 at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) in South Africa.
BRICS is an acronym for a powerful grouping of the world's leading emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The first BRIC Summit took place in Yekateringburg, Russia, where the elected leaders of the four countries formally declared the membership of the BRIC economic bloc. South Africa joined the bloc in 2010, resulting in BRICS.
Mr. Li Dafeng, Regional President- Huawei East & Southern Africa (ESA) Region spoke to Peter Nalika on how Huawei's role of developing Africa's ICT industry is inline with BRICS Summit agenda.
South Africa is the only member of BRICS in Africa, how does the rest of Africa benefit from the bloc:
Regionally, South Africa provides direct access to the rest of the continent and is situated between the East, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East. According to Fadl Nacerodien, the Chief Director at the Policy Research and Analysis Unit of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), South Africa is harnessing its membership to benefit the entire African continent. Negotiations are underway for example to establish a 26-country, US$1-trillion African Tripartite Free Trade Area (T-FTA) for East, Southern and Central Africa within three years, which will expand this market to 600 million people.
How is Huawei involved with BRICS in building business technology for Africa:
BRICS is a strategic partnership for Huawei in that Huawei has originates from China and is operating well in Brazil, India, Russia and South Africa, which are members of the block.
Technology is seen as a key driver in achieving the BRICS agenda especially in Africa and Huawei has spear headed developments in ICT industry in Africa for the last 15 years through building ICT infrastructures.
Does BRICS agenda focus on building business relations among member countries which foster adoption of technology systems?
Yes. The BRICS Business Forum's joint statement called on the respective governments to deepen economic engagement of which trade and investment were identified as the pillars of such an engagement. The target for intra-BRICS trade was set to be enhanced from the present level of US$ 230 billion to at least US$500 billion by 2015. The business leaders called for improvement of the quality of trade by focusing on more value-added trade in the three sectors of manufacturing, services and agriculture. For instance, South Africa's service sector comprises two thirds of whole economy (65,9%), which compares favorably with BRICS partners and provides niche opportunities.
The growth rate for sub-Saharan Africa is estimated around 5,5 % for 2012; and The Economist of 6 January 2011 predicts that between 2010 and 2015, seven out of the top 10 fastest-growing economies in the world will be African. According to Standard Bank's research, ICT is one of the factors driving this growth. In 2010, BRICS accounted for 13% of global demand in the ICT sector, with spending of about €328 billion.
What's Huawei main aim of sponsoring this Summit:
Huawei believes that our development in Africa is intertwined with the sustainable growth of the region. We continue to demonstrate our commitment as a long-term investor by partnering with countries in Africa to create robust mobile economies that support the current and future growth of Africa's ICT industry, enabling the local industry and community to reap the benefits of enriched communications. The BRIC summit agenda is in agreement with our commitment.
In addition, Huawei is committed to working with local stakeholders such as governments, customers, suppliers, among others to foster the social and economic development of the Eastern and Southern Africa region. In addition to continued business investments, Huawei has implemented long-term CSR programs and initiatives to bridge the digital divide in the region especially in Education and knowledge transfer programmes to nature ICT talents for the future. This will be made possible through the company's four state-of-the art telecomtraining centers in the ESA region- in South Africa, Kenya, Angola and DR Congo.
Kindly shade a light on technology industry trends and how they are relevant to this summit:
Gartner Identified the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2013 which included Mobile Device Battles, Personal Cloud, internet of things, and strategic big data among other things. All these trends are key for the BRICS to realize their goal and Huawei has made advancement in the region in areas such as:
Â· Mobile Devices: Huawei has brought quality and innovative devices in the region most recently in partnership with Microsoft last month launched the Huawei W1 for Africa which promotes creation and use of applications customized to meet local needs.
Â· Cloud Computing: In 2012 Huawei launched its innovative CloudEngine series data centre switches and Cloud Fabric solution, including CloudEngine 12800, a next-generation data centre switch with industry's largest switching capacity and performance, in South Africa
Â· Long Term Evolution (LTE): Deloitte predicted that More than 200 operators in 75 countries will have launched an LTE network by the end of 2013. With development of MBB, Huawei has supplied LTE solutions and equipment to all the LTE network operators in South Africa, and has also supported the commercial deployment of such networks in Angola, and conducted trials in Kenya.
Â· Green Technologies: Energy is a key global issue that is hindering development in different sectors including the ICT . In 2012 Huawei deployed new energy solutions in Uganda and Congo that have the potential of saving up to 40% energy