As part of a partnership to equip South African students to succeed in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), Huawei and the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies today launched a free 5G training programme at Walter Sisulu University (WSU).
The launch is part of an ongoing campaign by Huawei to help South Africa’s young people understand the possibilities of 5G while giving them the skills to realise that vision.
The programme started at Wits University and the University of Pretoria last year and will train up to 5 000 students online, and 1 000 on-site at partner universities across South Africa.
The event was attended by Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams; Huawei South Africa CEO Spawn Fan, and representatives from the Eastern Cape government and the university.
“We’re proud to partner with Walter Sisulu University,” said Fan. “We appreciate that WSU is a developmental university, focused on urban renewal and rural development through science, technology and innovation, which aligns perfectly with Huawei’s vision.”
This forms part of Huawei’s ICT Talent Ecosystem Program to grow and support ICT training in South Africa, especially in the latest technologies of 5G, artificial intelligence as well as Cloud and Data Services.
“Digital skills transfer is critical for today’s students to gain capabilities relevant in the emerging 4IR era,” said Fan. “This era is underpinned by the mass connectivity of 5G – hence Huawei’s commitment to 5G training.”
Fan said that 5G – or fifth-generation cellphone technology – was a key part of 4IR, which is changing the way we live, work, play and consume services. He said research predicted that by 2020, 70% of all jobs would have an information and communications technology (ICT) component.
Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams said,” Digital skills is a priority that requires all role players to collaborate in massifying skills throughout society. In 2018, we set a bold vision to train one million young people on data science and related skills. We have therefore sought to collaborate with various partners, including Huawei to realise this vision.”
The programme’s two-day courses are open to students both in the Mthatha area and online. They include components on 5G applications, network capabilities and key technologies to help students understand 5G and its potential.
Ndabeni-Abrahams added, “This 5G training comes at an opportune time as we are seized with preparing South Africa for the licensing of IMT Spectrum. We will, therefore, need a capable army that is equipped with relevant skills to assist the government in achieving its mandate of ensuring that South Africa is poised to aptly respond to 4IR requirements.”
“As South Africa moves into the 4IR, no one must be left behind,” said Fan. “South Africa’s young people have the potential to mature into world-class experts. By enhancing industry-academic cooperation, Huawei hopes to help South Africa achieve its development goals.”
Huawei is widely acknowledged as the global leader in 5G technology and is the only equipment provider with end-to-end 5G products and solutions, including 5G CPEs for commercial use and 5G smartphone devices.