Huawei Spearheads Digital Education in Africa Amid Climate Challenges
By Faridat Salifu
As the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28) dedicates a vital day to education, the spotlight is on the pressing challenges facing education in Africa.
With nearly 77% of the continent’s population comprising young people, the imperative of education takes center stage, especially amidst the backdrop of nearly 60% of youths aged 15 to 17 not attending school.
The formidable combination of this reality with the profound impacts of climate change calls for concrete and innovative responses, and players in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector, particularly Huawei, are stepping up with pioneering solutions.
In Africa, climate change effects permeate beyond the environmental realm and directly intertwine with education. Factors such as energy disruptions, economic hardships arising from climatic crises, and obstacles in safe journeying to schools pose substantial barriers to education. These challenges not only impede physical access to schools but also undermine the quality and equity of education offered. Huawei’s digital initiatives are poised to address these multifaceted challenges, not only by enhancing access to education but also by cultivating the digital skills of young Africans.
Vicky Zhang, Huawei’s Vice President in charge of Corporate Communications, underscored the company’s commitment to nurturing digital literacy and unleashing the potential of ICT to empower the younger generation during the Talent & Green Summit at COP28. The “Seeds For The Future 2.0” programme, which gathered 36 young talents, including six from the Huawei Northern Africa region, served as a testimony to this vision. This initiative provides immersive training for ICT students, reflecting the crucial role of digital skills in the context of sustainable development.
Huawei’s emphasis on the African continent is underscored by initiatives such as the ‘Technology-enabled Open Schools for All’ (TeOSS) project, conducted in partnership with UNESCO, focusing on building resilient education systems. TeOSS, implemented in Ethiopia and Egypt, aims to ensure educational continuity by integrating technology into learning and training teachers and students in digital tools usage. Additionally, the Huawei ICT Academy programme, present in over 350 colleges and universities in 15 countries in the Northern Africa region, has trained more than 80,000 talents, preparing them for the rapidly evolving ICT industry. With the TECH4ALL project, Huawei continues to contribute to the digital transformation of the continent by investing in training young people, opening up rural areas, digital sovereignty, and green energy.