Technology (210)

Makerere I.T Students To Represent Uganda In The Huawei Global ICT Skills Competition

Three Makerere University Students have been chosen to represent Uganda in the Huawei ICT global competition which is at its regional final stage in South Africa.

These top three students who were chosen on merit excelled in the preliminary and national final exams of the competition which was carried between October and December 2019.  

This is the second edition of the Huawei ICT Competition in Uganda with over 2500 students who registered to participate and out of those 100 excelled to the national final exam.

With the theme “Connection, Glory, Future”, the Huawei 2019-2020 Global ICT competition aims to provide a platform for global ICT talents to showcase their ability, compete and communicate, encouraging ICT-related study and drive the growth of a robust ICT talent ecosystem.

The 2500 competition participants from Makerere, Kyambogo, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Nkozi, Mbarara, Kabale, Lira, Gulu, Muni, UCU and MUBS accessed learning material free of charge on the Huawei online learning platform in the various courses such as Network and Cloud track.

The network track consists of Router & Switch, Security and Wireless Lan while Cloud track consists of Artificial intelligence, Big Data, Cloud Computing and Storage.

These studied and were subjected to preliminary and national exams of which the top three students emerged all coming from Makerere University. These are Magola Kenneth, Okello Stephen and Mudulo Gerald

These are expected to go to South Africa on 22nd March 2020 to participate in the regional final with other African countries and later in May to China, Shenzhen in the global final amongst the rest of the world.

Mr. Liaoshuangquan, the Huawei Uganda Human Resource Director noted that the competition is very relevant to every ICT student and professional because it’s a comprehensive approach of skills development for employment, enhanced productivity and growth.

“The Huawei ICT Competition and Academy is a comprehensive approach of skills development for employment, enhanced productivity and growth. Training contents in this program has been aligned with skills requirements in the job market.

That is why we re-dedicate ourselves to working even more closely with universities across the country to better equip students with the next generation of technologies and create the platform for the Ugandan students to demonstrate they are capable of maturing into world-class experts,” said Mr. Liaoshuangquan.

The second edition of this skilling competition began in October 2019 with several roadshows in the earlier mentioned universities and also a boot camp training to prepare the competition participants to do the exams.

Mr. Liaoshuangquan, The Huawei Human Resource Director continued to note that the top 11 students among the 100 national finalists shall be awarded in a ceremony to happen in March, with Huawei Professional certificates, Huawei gift devices and job/internship opportunities at Huawei.

Through the continued initiative to bridge the ICT skills gap and fostering ICT talent pool needed for national social-economic development, Huawei Uganda has been working with government and academic partners since May 2019 to open up its academies in the various universities of Uganda. So far, six academies have been opened in Makerere, MUBS, Soroti, Muni, Nkozi, Mbarara

and Kabale university.

Inside The Final Hours That Led To The Arrest Of Huawei Executive Meng Wanzhou

When Washington needed Canada’s help to apprehend a top Huawei executive, officials in the White House, Congress and diplomatic corps were informed of what would happen hours before politicians in Ottawa. Sources from the U.S., Canadian and Chinese governments explain how the plan unfolded.

Meng Wanzhou was unaware the eyes of U.S. law enforcement were watching her at the airport in Hong Kong as she boarded a Cathay Pacific Airlines flight to Vancouver last December.

A description of her clothing – white T-shirt, dark pants and white shoes – and that of colleague Ji Hui, her travelling companion, was sent to the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice, and to the RCMP and Canadian Border Security (CBSA) agents in Canada.

After Flight 838 touched down at 11:13 a.m. on Dec. 1, Ms. Meng – chief financial officer of the Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. – was met by border-services agents and formally arrested hours later by the RCMP. The United States has requested her extradition on fraud charges related to violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran.

The detention of Ms. Meng, whose father, Ren Zhengfei, founded the Shenzhen-based multinational, generated headlines worldwide and threw Canada-China relations into a deep freeze. It has also trapped Canada in a power struggle between China and the U.S., which views Huawei as a national-security risk and a pawn of the ruling Communist party.

Shortly after Ms. Meng’s arrest, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Canadians: “We were advised by [the United States] with a few days’ notice that this was in the works.”

But The Globe and Mail has learned that as officials at the top levels of the U.S. government orchestrated the arrest, they did not inform Mr. Trudeau or U.S. President Donald Trump.

U.S. officials knew on Nov. 29 that Ms. Meng would be on the Cathay Pacific Flight, but waited until Nov. 30 to ask Canada to arrest her when she arrived in Vancouver on Dec. 1. She was intercepted before she could board a connecting flight to Mexico later that day.

“The Chinese thought it very much was a Canadian-U.S. political conspiracy,” said David MacNaughton, Canada’s former ambassador to Washington. “That is what I have heard from them. They thought at the highest levels that the political people in

Canada and the United States got together to figure out how we were going to do this. Well, it wasn’t that at all.”

He said there was no discussion between Canadian and U.S. officials before the extradition request was made.

One year later, The Globe and Mail has pieced together an indepth account of those events in late 2018. The Globe spoke to senior Canadian and U.S. officials, as well as sources at Huawei and the Chinese government for this story, and is keeping their identities confidential so they could discuss Ms. Meng’s arrest and the severe diplomatic fallout that followed.

One of Mr. Trudeau’s closest advisers said the view inside the Canadian government is that John Bolton, the former White House national-security adviser, was the driving force behind Ms. Meng’s arrest. The Globe has been unable to confirm with Mr. Bolton that this was the case.

Mr. Bolton, who has said he knew in advance about the arrest, is known as a foreign-policy hawk when it comes to China and Iran. He left the White House in September after a dispute with Mr. Trump over Ukraine and Middle East policy.

The Trudeau adviser said Mr. Bolton and other like-minded officials in the U.S. government were well aware of the significance of the arrest they were asking Canada to make. The adviser and a senior national-security official say they are convinced the U.S. picked Canada to arrest Ms. Meng – and did so in a last-minute rush – because they believed the Justice Department and the RCMP would honour the extradition request.

Mr. MacNaughton said there is no doubt the Trump administration had several agendas in going after China and its global telecom champion, Huawei. The U.S. wants its allies to ban the company’s equipment from their nextgeneration 5G mobile technology.

But the request for the arrest “came on us suddenly, and we followed the process, and there was little political involvement at the last minute – almost after the fact,” Mr. MacNaughton said. “I don’t know what would have happened if we had more notice, but the reality is we didn’t.”

On Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, leaders of the G20 nations met in Buenos Aires for two days of talks. The meetings came at a difficult time in international relations. After months of often-contentious negotiations, Canada, Mexico and the United States were close to finalizing a new trade deal. Meanwhile, the U.S. and China were exchanging blows in an escalating trade war.

Mr. Trudeau was in the final meeting of the summit – a gathering that also included Mr. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping – when an official slipped a note to his principal secretary, Gerald Butts. It said Ms. Meng was about to be arrested. Sources say the Prime Minister was caught off guard by the news. He did not raise the matter directly with China’s leader or any other Chinese official that day.

Mr. Bolton was at the G20 summit with the U.S. contingent. He told U.S. reporters on Dec. 6 that he did not inform Mr. Trump about the arrest of the Huawei executive, even though the President was heading into a 21⁄2-hour private dinner with Mr. Xi at the conclusion of the meetings. At that dinner, the two leaders agreed to a 90-day truce in the U.S.-China trade war.

The circle of elected officials and political appointees with advance knowledge of the arrest in the U.S. was much greater than in Canada. Top U.S. decision-makers also knew in advance.

Among those briefed on the matter, U.S. officials say, were acting attorney-general Matt Whitaker and legislators on the U.S. Senate select intelligence committee, Republican chair Richard Burr and ranking Democrat Mark Warner.

Then-U.S. ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft (now her country’s envoy to the United Nations), was also brought into the loop. On Nov. 30, in a secure room at the U.S. consulate in Toronto, senior U.S. Justice department officials briefed her extensively, sources say.

The U.S. Justice Department would not say exactly when it informed the White House about the extradition request to Canada. “The U.S. Department of Justice does not comment on extradition-related matters until a defendant is in the United States,” senior communications adviser Nicole Navas Oxman said in an e-mail.

Chinese sources say Mr. Xi found out about the arrest after the postsummit dinner with Mr. Trump on Dec. 1. Huawei’s chief legal officer and a member of the company’s board of directors, Song Liuping, alerted Beijing not long after Ms. Meng was taken into custody, Huawei sources say. Ms. Meng had called him from Vancouver about four hours after she was detained.

Chinese and Huawei sources say Mr. Xi was infuriated that he learned about the arrest from his own officials and not from the Canadians.

A Canadian foreign-affairs official told The Globe on background that the federal government reached out to Chinese diplomats in Canada as soon as Ms. Meng was arrested. This occurred in both Ottawa and Vancouver. Within a few hours, Chinese diplomats had consular access to Ms. Meng.

Both the Chinese embassy in Ottawa and the consulate in Vancouver say they learned about the arrest from Beijing, not from the Canadian government.

“In accordance with the consular agreement between China and Canada, the Canadian side should inform the Chinese diplomatic missions in Canada immediately of its unreasonable detention of Ms. Meng Wanzhou,” the embassy said in a statement. “But the Canadian government failed to do that, the Chinese side first learned about the situation from other channels. We lodged stern representations with the Canadian side as soon as we learned about the relevant information.”

The Chinese consulate in Vancouver said in a statement that “it had not been informed by Canadian foreign affairs officials about the arrest of Ms. Meng Wanzhou” as would be expected under diplomatic protocol, especially if the individual is a highprofile Chinese corporate executive.

A source said Jody WilsonRaybould, justice minister and attorney-general at the time, was aware of the U.S. arrest request on Nov. 30, and her office passed the information on to the Privy Council Office, the source said. The PCO reports to the prime minister. Mr. Trudeau’s office said he heard about the impending arrest Dec. 1.

At the time, relations were poor between Ms. Wilson-Raybould and PMO officials, who were pressing her to order a deferred prosecution agreement for Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. on corruption charges. Ms. Wilson-Raybould was moved to Veterans Affairs in January, 2019. She eventually resigned from cabinet and was removed from the Liberal Party. Ms. Wilson-Raybould would not comment for this story.

Several top-level civil servants also knew of the impending arrest. Deputy minister of Justice Nathalie Drouin and a senior lawyer at Justice’s International Assistance Group, Cathy Chalifour, the RCMP and Canada Border Services had known since Nov. 30. In addition to the Privy Council, Global Affairs officials were also briefed. The Justice Department approved the extradition warrant, and the RCMP and CBSA, the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department laid out a plan for the arrest, according to court documents filed in the Meng extradition case.

The short notice denied the Canadian government a chance to assess the potential fallout, officials say.

Former Liberal justice minister Irwin Cotler said the usual practice is not to inform the prime minister of extradition cases, but a senior government official said Mr. Trudeau and senior aides should have been told to help prepare for the political fallout.

“From our end, it seemed to be treated as a normal request from a similar country you have a treaty with,” said Mr. MacNaughton, the former ambassador. “The whole thing happened and the Prime Minister was given no real warning and any real advice on what the potential consequences were.”

The Chinese thought it very much was a Canadian-U.S. political conspiracy. That is what I have heard from them. They thought at the highest levels that the political people in Canada and the United States got together to figure out how we were going to do this. Well, it wasn’t that at all.



I do not believe the government of Canada did this with blinders on. I believe the government of Canada recognized that this would be very difficult and likely would involve enormous pressure put on the government of Canada, and the country of Canada as whole, and decided that upholding the principles underlying extradition treaties was worth the cost.



John E. Smith, who until May, 2018, was a director of the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which is responsible for administering and enforcing sanctions, said Canadian officials must have been aware of how Ms. Meng’s arrest would affect relations with China.

“I do not believe the government of Canada did this with blinders on,” he said. “I believe the government of Canada recognized that this would be very difficult and likely would involve enormous pressure put on the government of Canada, and the country of Canada as whole, and decided that upholding the principles underlying extradition treaties was worth the cost. Because, at the end of the day, do you allow yourself to be bullied as a country into not upholding your international commitments?”

One month before Ms. Meng’s arrest, the U.S. government began publicly laying the groundwork and building a narrative for going after the Huawei executive.

At a press conference in Washington on Nov. 1, then-U.S. attorney-general Jeff Sessions unveiled what the Trump administration called the “China Initiative.” Mr. Sessions said the U.S. Justice Department was going to step up law-enforcement actions against Chinese companies that break the law while competing with U.S. companies. Among those standing beside Mr. Sessions was Richard Donoghue, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, whose office is spearheading the Meng/Huawei case.

“It is time for China to join the community of lawful nations,” Mr. Sessions said. “We will continue to charge wrongdoers based on carefully conducted investigations done with integrity, done with professionalism, not politics.”

Then, he added a warning:

“And we will seek extradition of criminals.”

The China Initiative is a firstever effort to use the United States’ Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement to achieve political goals, and “a sharp departure from the Department of Justice’s historically apolitical approach,” lawyers from the firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP wrote in a legal paper last March.

Retired U.S. Air Force general Robert Spalding, who previously worked on China issues at the White House National Security Council, said Ms. Meng’s arrest was in keeping with changes the Trump administration had made to ensure the “shackles are taken off the Department of Justice and the FBI” to properly enforce the law against Chinese companies or individuals.

For years, successive administrations did not enforce U.S. economic theft and corruption laws when it “came to Chinese companies or Chinese individuals, particularly if they were of the Meng Wanzhou stature,” Mr. Spalding said in an interview. “What has changed in America, particularly since 2018, is we began to allow the Department of Justice and FBI to actually bring cases, so for the first time, these departments are allowed to do their jobs.”

There’s no indication that Ms. Meng knew of the arrest warrant, but she had not travelled to the United States since March, 2017, according to U.S. information included in an RCMP affidavit connected to the extradition request. That was more than a year before an arrest warrant was issued for her in New York on Aug. 22, 2018. The RCMP told the court that U.S. officials believe that by April, 2017, Huawei was aware a criminal investigation was under way in the United States.

One thing the U.S. government has never explained is the timing of its bid to arrest Ms. Meng.

In the three months after the warrant was issued, and before her fateful stopover in Vancouver on Dec. 1, Ms. Meng visited six countries that have extradition treaties with the U.S., including Britain, Ireland, Japan, France, Poland and Belgium. She had also travelled through Canada on Oct. 8, 2018.

Court records filed in the extradition case show the Americans told the Canadians, including the RCMP and Justice officials, it was urgent that the Huawei executive be arrested during her Vancouver stopover, but didn’t explain why they passed up chances to take her into custody earlier that year.

The U.S. issued a provisional arrest warrant, which means the person should be taken into custody without delay. “Unless Meng is provisionally arrested in Canada on Saturday, Dec. 1 … it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to secure her presence in the United States for prosecution,” the U.S. request said, noting Washington has no extradition treaty with Beijing.

After her planned transit through Vancouver, Ms. Meng’s next stops were to include Mexico City, Costa Rica and Argentina. All three countries also have extradition agreements with the U.S.

Extradition experts say it’s rare for Washington to pursue criminal charges for sanctions violations against an individual rather than a corporation. Eric Lewis, a U.S. lawyer who specializes in international fraud and corruption cases, said that “in a case like this one, where Ms. Meng is in all likelihood executing corporate policy, one would expect individuals not to be charged and the corporation would be fined.”

In June, 2018, for example, Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson, a rival of Huawei, reached a settlement with the U.S. government for a breach of sanctions against Sudan, agreeing to pay more than US$145,000. In September, 2019, the company also announced it would take a US$1.2-billion hit to its third-quarter results to cover monetary sanctions in a longrunning U.S. investigation into corruption allegations concerning activities in six countries, including China.

Mr. Smith, the former Treasury official, agreed it is rare for the United States to target an individual, but he said it was warranted in the Meng case. “It was a willful lying to the banking executives and to government officials that were involved,” he said. “That is what [makes this] different than most of the other cases.”

As for why the U.S. picked Canada rather than one of the other nine countries on Ms. Meng’s travel schedule since the arrest warrant was issued, Mr. Lewis said Washington might have considered Ottawa the most likely to act.

“I can only speculate that the U.S. thought [Canada] would be the most straightforward and reliable partner,” he said. “South American legal systems are more formalistic and the process of extradition can be protracted. … European Union countries may be less willing to co-operate on prosecutions that have a more political or strategic character.”

A senior Mexican official told The Globe that, in spite of Mexico’s extradition treaty with the United States, his country would not have honoured a request to arrest Ms. Meng.

Canadians have paid dearly for the arrest of Ms. Meng.

Shortly after she was detained, Beijing arrested two Canadians, former diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor, both of whom were living in China at the time. The move was widely viewed as retaliation. China accused the men of espionage, and they remain incarcerated while Ms. Meng is free on $10million bail. She is living in one of her two Vancouver mansions, her only encumbrance an electronic ankle monitor.

Canadian farmers shouldered the economic brunt of China’s anger. Beijing bought 40 per cent of Canada’s canola-seed exports in 2018, but after Ms. Meng’s detention, purchases dropped off precipitously. Demand for soybeans from China dried up. Even though its pork industry was being devastated by African swine flu, Beijing banned Canadian pork and beef for more than four months this year before relenting in early November.

China expert Scott Kennedy of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, said there are three ways to resolve the Meng affair and free the two Canadians: Canadian courts could say the U.S. has not provided proof to warrant an extradition, and set her free; Huawei can negotiate a plea deal with the U.S. Justice Department that leads to a withdrawal of the extradition request; or a deal between Mr. Trump and Mr. Xi could lead to her freedom.

Former Liberal deputy prime minister John Manley has said Canada should have used “creative incompetence” and let Ms. Meng slip through its grasp and continue her trip to Mexico.

“We should have exercised our discretion from the outset and said this is not one that we should be arresting,” he said in an interview this week, adding he believes there is discretion in the extradition act to allow Ottawa to refuse a request.

Mr. Manley said he’s not sure whether Ms. Meng is part of a geopolitical play by the Trump administration. “But it smells that way to me. It smells to me like ‘Let’s get a big fish because that will give us maximum leverage.’”

But Mel Cappe, a former privy council clerk, the senior-most post in Canada’s federal public service, said he believes Canada could not have let Ms. Meng go as Mr. Manley suggests. “I don’t think you can do that. You either believe in the rule of law or you don’t. If you do, you exercise it.”

He said if he had been made aware of the pending Meng arrest, he doesn’t see why he would have been obliged to inform the prime minister ahead of time. “Why do you want to make it the prime minister’s problem?”

As things stand, Mr. Trudeau can say the action was taken by law-enforcement officials, not politicians. “If we get accused of sticking to the law and being reliable,” Mr. Cappe said, “I wear it as a badge of honour.”

Transform Or Die — The Value And Purpose Of Digital Transformation

It is not enough for business to simply stick to the fundamental products and services they have always offered. In the digital age it's disrupt or die.

According to the IDC, digital transformation is essential for an organisation to adapt quickly to changing markets. Business opportunities are fleeting, the IDC said, and if your business does not have the agility to seize them, your competition will.

The IDC said that digitally transformed organisations can react quickly to changing market dynamics, and adapt their strategies quickly and on-demand. Companies that are not transformed will miss out.

One example of this, are cellular network operators around the world.

Not too long ago, offering mobile voice and messaging services was a game changer. Then came mobile data. Now these are simply the expected functions of a network.

"They are fundamental, but not enough" said Lu Baoqiang, Huawei vice-president for the Southern Africa Region. To remain relevant, businesses have to adapt to new technologies and transform.

Huawei defines digital transformation as the application of new digital capabilities including tools, platforms and systems to processes, operations, product design, and services.

Baoqiang said that the aim of such a transformation is three-fold: increase revenue, improve efficiency and decrease costs, and enhance the customer experience.

"When we talk about digital transformation, we have to realise it's all about how you can engage your customers," said Baoqiang. While new technology is essential to a digital transformation, it must be in support of the primary purpose of the exercise — making things better for your customers.

Baoqiang said that, broadly, there are two forms digital transformation can take. The first is where existing operations are streamlined using new technologies. The second is where a business expands its offerings into new digital frontiers.

Huawei has partnered with several mobile network operators in Africa in their digital transformation, Baoqiang said. One example is Safaricom in Kenya. With Safaricom in Kenya, Huawei has helped implement financial technology in the form of services like M-PESA and Fuliza. These have unlocked a whole new digital economy in the country.

Huawei and Safaricom have jointly received the "Business of Tomorrow" award for the most innovative service at AfricaCom 2019. The award recognises the two companies for offering Fuliza, a mobile money overdraft service that runs on the M-PESA platform. Fuliza lets users with insufficient funds in their M-PESA accounts borrow money to complete their M-PESA transactions.

The service was launched in January 2019, and has been gaining popularity in Kenya where Safaricom has over 23.6 million M-PESA users. Kenyans transacted over KES 6.2 billion (R900 million) in the first month of Fuliza's launch. Fuliza has disbursed KES 140 billion (R2 billion) since January, processing 13 loans per second. The companies say that the service has a very low default rate due to its purposeful nature.



Why African Mobile Networks Must Invest In 4G

Even with the 5G era already upon us, investment in 4G/LTE networks is still vitally important for operators in sub-Saharan Africa and must remain a core focus of network construction for the immediate future. This is according to David Chen, Vice-President, Huawei Southern Africa.

"Currently, the mobile broadband penetration rate in Africa is only 47%, while 4G penetration rate is merely 10%," Chen said.

"Insufficient coverage causes LTE users to fall back to the 2G or 3G networks, resulting in significant decline in user experience. It also leads to congestion on the 2G and 3G networks and makes it difficult to release spectrum used by 2G and 3G."

Chen said that LTE and 5G complement each other and are evolving in parallel. In the next few years, 5G will mainly be used in more industrial communications.

LTE will remain the primary choice for global mobile communications through 2025. It will form the basic layer of national networks, especially when it comes to the mobile broadband access.

"It will take a long time for 5G to provide nationwide continuous coverage. Before that, enhanced LTE networks can guarantee optimal user experience for 5G users, including services such as VR, AR, and cloud gaming," said Chen.

He said that it is important for operators to invest in 4G to secure future growth, as it is estimated that there will be an additional 80 million LTE users in sub-Saharan Africa by 2025.

Driven by this growth, LTE traffic in sub-Saharan Africa will increase by a factor of 8.8. By 2025, about 80% of all data traffic in the region will be over an LTE network.

LTE will also be the main source of future revenue for operators.

"According to GSMA Intelligence, 2G and 3G users in sub-Saharan Africa will gradually migrate to 4G," said Chen. "By 2025, the proportion of 2G users will drop from 46% to 12%."

Part of the reason for the migration to 4G is because the ecosystem is mature.

"The price of feature phones supporting VoLTE in the sub-Saharan Africa market has been as low as $25," Chen said.

Since 5G equipment is already available, there is an opportunity for operators to build out their 4G networks while ensuring that they can evolve to 5G in future.

Chen offered the following tips to operators to ensure they are ready for 5G:

* All future equipment installations should be 5G ready, allowing easy upgrades to 5G through software updates.

* Software should support multi-standard spectrum sharing to improve spectrum efficiency, and to allow the smooth migration of 2G and 3G users.

* Networks must support 4G and 5G coordination, in terms of spectrum, operation and maintenance. This will ensure that users have a consistent experience as we enter the 5G era.

* The value of existing ICT infrastructure, such as base station sites, must be maximised to avoid overlapping services and wasted resources. This would mean boosting the capacity and coverage of every station for optimum efficiency.

* Carriers should explore the business case for all possible 5G innovations when building 4G networks, and not just embrace 5G for its own sake. This will mean building business models around IoT, video, live broadcast, augmented reality, and virtual reality.

* It is important that operators build partnerships with providers that can support the ongoing spectrum evolution with fast site upgrades and large-capacity solutions. The idea is to maximise the value of 4G networks, and smoothly evolve to 5G without unnecessary infrastructure investment.

Safaricom, Huawei Receive Most Innovative Service Award At AfricaCom

Safaricom and Huawei have jointly received the prestigious Most Innovative Service “the Business of Tomorrow” award at AfricaCom 2019 in Cape Town.

Overdraft service, known as “Fuliza”. This service enables users with insufficient funds in their M-PESA accounts to borrow money to complete their M-PESA transactions. The service was officially launched in January 2019 and has been gaining popularity in Kenya where Safaricom has over 23.6 million M-PESA users. Kenyans transacted over KES 6.2 Billion (USD 62M) in Fuliza's first month after its launch.

Michael Joseph, CEO, Safaricom said “M-PESA continues to play a leading role in deepening financial inclusion in the country. Fuliza enriches our mobile financial services portfolio further fulfilling our promise to always provide our customers with relevant products and services that meet them at their point of need. We are glad to partner with Huawei in bringing this commitment to life.”

Fuliza is empowered by the Huawei Mobile Money Finance Overdraft Platform which allows design, development and deployment of innovate finance products. This platform was created to enable credit overdraft facilities in multiple payment scenarios in a highly secure and stable way.

Over the years, Huawei has been working with Safaricom in improving its mobile financial services and developing new products, especially for loans and savings which can bring many benefits to individuals but also to SMEs to help grow their businesses.

David Chen, Director of Marketing & Solution Sales for Huawei Southern Africa Region said: “Financial services requires security and stability. These two elements are in the DNA of all Huawei’s ICT solutions.

We have focused on building a world-class application programming interface (API) to enable the local ICT ecosystem to tap into M-PESA to serve the needs of our client for business success and nurture the digital economy from a macro perspective.”

AfricaCom is Africa’s biggest telecoms and technology event which takes place annually in Cape Town, South Africa. This year, during this 3-day event Huawei has showcased its end-to-end 5G ability, facilitating the industry’s digital transformation through innovative tools, platforms and solutions and explored new opportunities that are emerging for the industry from these new technologies.

Huawei Cloud Kunpeng Cloud Services Usher in Africa’s Multi-Architecture Computing Era

HUAWEI CLOUD has released Kunpeng ECS (Elastic Cloud Server) cloud services and Partner Program 2.0 at AfricaCom, the continent’s largest annual telecom event.

The Kunpeng-powered cloud services will be made available to African customers by the end of December, and will offer 15% faster multi-core computing power and a 30% higher performance/price ratio than the industry average.

These cloud services offer an unprecedented capability to meet the ever-shifting requirements of a diverse range of public and private institutions.

Speaking at the Huawei Cloud, AI Forum, Rui Houwei, President of HUAWEI CLOUD Africa, noted the significance of recent technological breakthroughs.
"The computing industry has gone through the mainframe computer, minicomputer, and x86 server stages and will move to the multi-architecture computing stage," he said.

"The computing power previously available only in the x86 architecture, is now available in different architectures, allowing for the use of appropriate computing power for each specific application. “

This January, Huawei launched Kunpeng 920, the industry's highest-performing 7nm server processor in the Kunpeng architecture. The HUAWEI CLOUD ECS is powered by the Kunpeng servers, and supports multi-architecture computing. "

Rui also expressed optimism at Kunpeng’s capabilities for the local market, "Huawei is able to innovate across the entire stack ranging from chips and servers, to cloud platforms. In-depth collaboration between chips, hardware, and software enable Kunpeng cloud services to deliver unparalleled performance. We are deeply committed to providing diversified cloud services and solutions, to help public institutions and private companies take intelligence and mobility to even greater heights. "

At the forum, Huawei also outlined its Partner Program 2.0 initiative, which offers crucial support for partners, with regard to online and onsite training, market expansion, marketing activities, and technical understanding.

In Africa alone, HUAWEI CLOUD has established partnerships with over 65 partners spanning diverse industries, including telecom, finance, manufacturing, education, retail, and logistics, as well as the public sector. “Such wide-ranging collaboration is likely to result in unique, and broadly-shared benefits across the ecosystem,” said Rui.

According to an IDC report, South Africa's spending in public cloud services will reach R11.5 billion in 2022, a three-fold increase from 2017. This expansion is projected to create 112,000 jobs. By 2020, cloud services will account for 67% of enterprises' total spending in IT infrastructure and software.

More than 85% of enterprises are expected to use the hybrid-cloud or multi-cloud architecture.

Huawei has been operating in Africa for over 20 years, and has developed an in-depth understanding of the requirements, opportunities, and challenges faced by African customers. Its local teams are fully equipped to provide premium services for customers spanning 54 different African countries.

HUAWEI CLOUD has leveraged its 30 years of accumulated technological development and expertise in the ICT field, to deliver high-quality full-stack cloud services at the best possible value.

HUAWEI CLOUD services were officially launched in South Africa this February, making it the first cloud service provider to utilize local data centers in that country. Over the past eight months, HUAWEI CLOUD has experienced rapid growth in the African market, notably in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Zambia.

Huawei Releases New White Paper On The Future Of Fixed-Wireless Access

Huawei has released its 4G/5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) Broadband Whitepaper, which outlines how fixed wireless can bring broadband to all.

According to Huawei, the high speeds and large capacity of 4G and 5G connectivity have made it possible to offer a Gbps broadband experience by utilising wireless networks, rather than requiring copper or fibre networks.

Thanks to advances in FWA technology, those who previously did not have access to digital services can now access connectivity up to 10Mbps.

This is due to FWA lowering the barrier of entry to connectivity by drastically reducing costs when compared to fixed or mobile broadband.

FWA can also offer alternatives to copper-based broadband solutions, such as ADSL, by offering an average rate of 10-20Mbps at affordable prices and without the requirement of copper installations.

Those who want fibre-like connectivity, but can’t access fibre in their area, can also use fixed wireless to attain speeds of 50-100 Mbps during busy hours.

4G FWA solutions such as those mentioned above are already being used in over 120 countries and across 230 networks, servicing 100 million global households – and these numbers will continue to rise.

 While FWA services using 4G are well established, 5G FWA is a way to full-scale 5G deployments. 5G will take FWA to the next level, enabling various modern technologies, as well as those that will inevitably be released in the future - including smart homes, 4K, and AR/VR services.

5G will also offer businesses improved connectivity, enabling them to streamline their practices and lower their expenses.

Bringing connectivity to new locations

According to a recent ITU report, 50% of the world’s population will still not have access to the Internet by the end of 2019.

Developing nations also tend to have significantly slower connection speeds than developed countries, with broadband speeds failing to pass 10Mbps in some countries.

However, ever-improving wireless technologies can help to improve the reach and reliability of Internet connections in these nations.

The implementation of wireless fibre in such countries brings with it a series of benefits:

  • Wireless broadband can bring coverage to over 90% of a developing country’s population – including urban and rural areas.
  • 5G and 5G offer a fibre-like experience, with improved speeds and reliability.
  • Wireless broadband allows for the speedy deployment of connectivity, as there is no need to dig trenches and install cables.
  • Developing wireless broadband infrastructure enables a smooth transition to 5G due to the installation of compatible network hardware.

Implication for Africa

Fixed wireless access has emerged as one of the most significant growth drivers around the world, as explosive user growth is seen in both developed markets as well as Emerging countries like South Africa. Many believe that eventually 5G FWA will have a significant impact on fixed broadband just as 2G had on fixed voice more than 20 years ago.

Fixed broadband subscriptions in Sub Saharan Africa are estimated to be 6.6 million in 2018. This market can grow by up to three-fold by 2023 according to Ovum, a London based global technology research and advisory firm.

According to Ovum’s research released in the beginning of this year, there will be strong demand and rapid market growth for home broadband in sub Saharan Africa in the coming 5 years. The number of broadband subscriptions in SSA will increase from 7.5 million in 2019 to 17 million in 2023.

In addition, the research forecasts Africa will record the highest growth in enterprise fixed broadband subscriptions between 2018 and 2022, with a CAGR of 7.27%, compared to 5.75% and 3.31% for Central and Southern Asia and Eastern Europe, respectively.

4G/5G FWA solution can addresses the connection of millions of households and enterprises currently unconnected, as well as the upgrade of 2.5 million households from low speed DSL to high speed broadband services. Case in point, according to a financial report issued by Telkom in South Africa, its WTTx new subscriber base increased by 340 thousand in the fiscal year 2018, beating 35 thousand new fibre users.

MTN Marathon Maternal Health Initiative Gets Shs250m Huawei Support

In the spirit of comradeship, Huawei Technologies extended an olive branch to MTN Uganda’s attempt to improve maternal health in Uganda by offering Shs250m to go towards this year’s MTN Kampala Marathon.

Huawei Uganda managing director Liujiawei handed over a dummy cheque to MTN Uganda chief marketing officer, Mr. Sen Somdev at Huawei Uganda Offices at the Cube Building, Kisementi in Kampala to symbolize their commitment to this good cause.

The 2019 edition of the MTN Kampala Marathon will be held on Sunday 24th November starting at the Kololo independence grounds with runners participating in either of 4 categories including; the full marathon (42Km), half marathon (21Km), 10Km race and 5Km wheelchair race/fun run.

“This year we shall run for maternal health once again, and as we all know, one out of every 49 women die of a maternal complication related to pregnancy in Uganda and it’s the highest in the world.

We at Huawei believe that this issue can be solved once and for all and make Uganda a better place for pregnant mothers. This then explains why we have come out to continue to sponsor this marathon with 250 million Uganda shillings,” Liujiawei told journalists. 

MTN’s Somdev said that with Huawei’s involvement in the MTN Kampala Marathon, they have positively impacted communities from the proceeds raised from the MTN Kampala Marathon.

“In the same way, our longstanding work relationship with Huawei has brought forth innovative digital solutions which have transformed the digital landscape for Uganda; and has certainly contributed to our vision of delivering a bold new digital world to our customers,” Somdev said.

1000 Ugandan Students Enroll For The 2019 Huawei ICT Competition

Over 1000 I.T students from Universities all over Uganda have registered to take part in the global Huawei ICT competition registration that happened in October.

Through presentations by Huawei made to students in Makerere, Kyambogo, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Nkozi, Mbarara, Kabale, Lira, Gulu, Muni, UCU and MUBS accordingly, there has been a tremendous turn up of registration by the students to study and compete in the global competition

The registered students are expected to access learning material free of charge on the Huawei online learning platform in the various courses such as Network and Cloud track.

The network track consists of Router & Switch, Security and Wireless Lan while Cloud track consists of Artificial intelligence, Big Data, Cloud Computing and Storage.

These students are expected to study and do exams prepared for them at preliminary level, national level, regional level on the African continent and global level.

According to Ms. Wu Suqi, the coordinator of the Huawei ICT Academy, “the top students with the required pass mark after the various stages of the competition shall be awarded internship and job opportunities, professional Huawei certification recognition, gift devices and trips to South Africa and China for the regional and global competition respectively.”

“This is a platform for Ugandan I.T students to obtain professional acknowledgment from the ICT industry through the Huawei Certification”, she added.

With the theme “Connection, Glory, Future”, the Huawei 2019-2020 Global ICT competition aims to provide a platform for global ICT talents to compete and communicate, promote high-quality ICT talent development, and drive the growth of a robust and sustainable ICT talent ecosystem.

Mr. Josephat, the Head of ICT Department from Muni University commended Huawei’s efforts of skilling and nurturing ICT Talent. 

“I thank Huawei for this ICT competition and also the Seeds for the future program where as university we have participated for three years. These are great skilling and nurturing efforts aimed at making our students better and ready for employment,” he said.

Investing In Digital Skills To Unlock Uganda’s Digital Growth Potential

By Liu Jiawei

Last week, President Yoweri Museveni advised young women who had been trained in a variety of vocational trades to use the skills acquired to meet the needs of people, which in turn would make them wealthy and prosperous.

 This was at the graduation ceremony of 8,480 graduands who had benefitted from the ‘Presidential Initiative on Skilling the Girl Child. The lot, from the July- December 2018 intake, had successfully completed their training and obtained skills in bakery, hairdressing, knitting, tailoring and shoemaking.

 Apart from skills obtained by the girls, Information and Communication Technology ICT is another lifetime skill that is essential rather than optional.

 As skills gaps across all industries are poised to grow in the Fourth Industrial Revolution globally, there will also be strong demand for ICT-related skills.

 According to the World Economic Forum, at least 133 million new roles generated as a result of the new division of labour between humans, machines and algorithms may emerge globally by 2022.

By 2022, 85 per cent of companies across the world are very likely to have expanded their adoption of technologies such as data analytics, internet of things and cloud computing.

 In Uganda, the ICT skills gap is also a challenge, especially when the past years have witnessed a tremendous upsurge of ICTs in the country.

 The ICT sector has grown 19.7 per cent on average each year since 2013, adding 2.5 per cent annually to the country’s GDP.

In 2017, Uganda advanced five places in the International Telecommunication Union’s ICT Development Index, placing it 20th in Africa and second within East Africa.

However, report by National Information Technology Authority shows that within MDAs in Uganda, ICT personnel account for only 1.9 per cent of the total work force.

 The great array of hope in Uganda’s ICT Sector and the capacity of ICT to create jobs brings a need to invest in digital skills for a readily skilled ICT talent base for sectorial, industrial and national development.

 When we talk about bridging digital skill gap we are talking about three aspects.

 First, digital upskilling and reskilling will strengthen the necessary capacity for institutions and ICT professionals to be able to applying existing technologies in innovative ways and innovate around people’s needs.

 Second, encourage and enable youth to improve their ICT-related studies and enhance their digital skills. As new requirements emerging in the job market, they are able to shift from theoretical learning to practical application to be more employable, given that about 400,000 youths are released annually into the job market to compete for 9,000 available jobs in the country, according to a study by University of Makerere.

 Third, which is more easily ignored, equipping ordinary citizen with basic digital skills allowing them not only to consume the content and ideas produced by others but create their own products and services and develop their own ideas for life changing opportunities.

This is critical to unleash the potential within Ugandans, who, according to Global Entrepreneurship Monito, are the most entrepreneurial people in the world.

 Just as ICT and National Guidance Minister Frank Tumwebaze noted recently, “We should skill people to earn. Not everything we learn is geared towards earning but if you have an ICT skill, you are able to shape it, nurture it, incubate it, please work it out tailored to solve a problem and also earn from it.”

 To achieve the goals, we need strong public-social-private partnership in the preparation for a rapidly changing future, where digital skills gap will be widening fast if no actions were taken.

 On one hand, policies that support more available, accessible and affordable digital infrastructure to people especially those live in rural areas, are needed. This will allow for more equitable access to knowledge and harness technology to enable lifelong learning.

Decision makers also need to direct more resources to strengthen institutional capacity building including enhancing the digital competencies of teachers and make sure successful provision could be scaled up once it is available.

 On the other hand, civil society and private sector should be focused on bridging formal and non-formal digital skills provision and context-specific planning and provision by looking closely at the new requirements and the latest trends emerging in job market.

 At Huawei, we believe that PEOPLE is the most important asset, and that investing in PEOPLE is investment in the future. With this belief, Huawei Uganda has introduced upskilling and ICT talent development initiatives to bridge the gap between Academia and the ICT industry. These initiatives aim at building an ICT talent alliance, set an ICT talent standard, making them employable.

 Through the global ICT Competition that started in 2018 in Uganda, Huawei Uganda has had over 1,300 students accessing our learning platforms freely to access material on Networking, WLAN, and Cloud Computing.

We selected the top three who represented Uganda in the regional final in South Africa and took third place out of 12 countries.

This year we aim to reach over 6,000 university students countrywide. We have so far awarded 20 job opportunities to the top performers in the competition, and still considering more who are about to finish their university.

 The Huawei Seeds for the Future’ program is another initiative where we take 10 University students every year to China for hands-on training at our headquarters in Beijing and Shenzhen. Since 2016 we have so far taken 40 students of which 22 are already employed at Huawei and other organization and the remaining still studying in their various universities.

 The target is to train over 1000 students in Uganda by end of 2020 through our ICT academies and certification programmes currently established in Makerere, Kyambogo, Kabale and Soroti universities, among others.

 We also work closely with different ministries in supporting young innovators in the country and empower vulnerable groups.

I heard an inspiring story that a girl who is beneficiary of one of the initiatives established a technology start-up to build a verified voucher system for simplifying the distribution of International and National aid. Her skill acquisition and application could be properly described as “ICT for Development”, which is the name of the initiative.


ICTs are critical to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and digital skill are critical to ICTs adoption and application. Tech is for good, with the right skill, we could pass it on.

Huawei Uganda is willing and ready to invest with all its partners in digital skills in order to unlock Uganda’s digital growth potential for more inclusive development with no one left behind.

Liu Jiawei is the Managing Director Huawei Uganda

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