Huawei pledges to upskill 150 000 in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2027

(From Left to Right: Prof. Muhammed Bashir Muazu, Team Lead, Computer Engineering and IASC director Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria; Prof. Baraka Jacob Maiseli, Associate Professor, Representative of Deputy Vice Chancellor - Research, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; ZHANG Jing, Senior Manager of Huawei ICT Talent Partner Development; George Ndegwa Karimi, Director of University of Nairobi, Kenya; Hirya Richard Edymond, Soroti University, Uganda)

Huawei has announced a significant expansion of its digital talent development program in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The company aims to equip an additional 150,000 individuals with digital skills over the next three years, building upon the success of its existing LEAP initiative.

Siddharth Chatterjee, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in China

LEAP: Building a digital future for Africa

LEAP, which stands for Leadership, Employability, Advancement and Possibility, was launched in 2022.

This initiative reflects Huawei’s commitment to “inclusive, systematic and future-oriented talent development” according to Jeff Wang, Senior Vice President and President of Public Affairs and Communications at Huawei.

The program has already exceeded its initial target of training 100,000 people by 2025, achieving a 120% success rate 10 months ahead of schedule. This accomplishment highlights the critical need for digital skills in the region.

The World Economic Forum estimates that over one billion people worldwide will require upskilling or reskilling by 2030.

In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, the International Financial Corporation forecasts that over 230 million jobs will require digital skills by the same year.

Partnerships and collaboration: Key to success

The LEAP Summit 2024, held in Shanghai on June 28th, 2024, served as a platform to showcase the program’s progress and announce the expanded goals.

The event, co-hosted by Huawei and the African Telecommunications Union (ATU), brought together government officials, industry leaders, and academics from across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Speakers at the summit emphasized the importance of collaboration in addressing the digital skills gap. John OMO, Secretary General of the ATU, underscored a “human-first approach to technology,” highlighting that digital skills development is about empowering people to participate in the digital economy. This sentiment was echoed by Hon. Dr. Tatenda Annastacia Mavetera, Minister of Information Communication

John OMO, Secretary General, African Telecommunications Union

Technology, Postal and Courier Services for Zimbabwe, who emphasized the power of partnerships between governments, industries, and educational institutions.

Equipping the workforce for the future

Huawei’s LEAP program offers a comprehensive range of initiatives designed to bridge the digital skills gap.

These include:

  • Free Huawei certificate courses and exam vouchers: This initiative allows participants to gain valuable ICT certifications through the Huawei ICT Academy.
  • Digital badge program: This program enables graduates of the Huawei ICT Academy programs to showcase their credentials on social media platforms, potentially enhancing their employability.
  • ICT Training and certification courses: These courses provide individuals with the technical skills required for success in the digital economy.
  • Government digital capacity building: This initiative supports African governments in developing a digitally skilled workforce.
  • ICT Skills competitions: These competitions foster a spirit of innovation and encourage the development of cutting-edge digital solutions.

Huawei’s expanded LEAP program represents a significant commitment to empowering individuals and communities in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Hon. Dr. Tatenda Annastacia Mavetera, Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services, Zimbabwe
Minister Counselor He Hongyan, Department of African Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China

By fostering digital skills development and collaboration across stakeholders, the program has the potential to unlock the region’s vast potential and drive inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

Steven Fan, Enterprise Training & Certification Dept Director, Huawei

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