by Mahmoud Fouly, Zheng Kailun
CAIRO, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- China's giant Huawei corporation is helping promote innovation, digital transformation and Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-based solutions that address most pressing problems in developing states including Egypt and North African countries.
At the Cairo ICT 2017 exposition concluded on Wednesday, Huawei attracted visitors and potential business partners alike with its innovated ICT solutions like "OpenLab" that cooperates with local markets and provides industry solutions to better meet business demands, and "Smart City" that pursues the conditions of the whole city through a large monitor to facilitate controlling and dealing with traffic congestions, crimes, accidents, etc.
The Chinese corporation also showcased at the exposition different creative applications related to e-learning and smart education, which are unconventional learning methods in the developing world in general and in the North African region in particular.
Ni Zheng, President of Huawei Northern Africa Region Enterprise Business group, said that Huawei cooperates with its partners through OpenLab to provide solution-development platform for industries of safe city, smart government, smart grid, smart education and so on.
"Based on the hardware platform, a soft service ability has been formed, aiming to providing industry solutions, integrating and verifying for solutions, deepening cooperation with channel and partners, and providing more training and cooperation resources to market," Ni told Xinhua on the sidelines of the Cairo ICT 2017, where Huawei announced launching OpenLab as a regional springboard in the Egyptian capital city.
"We plan to build Huawei Northern Africa OpenLab in northern region. We set up the OpenLab in Cairo, so that we can get some convenient conditions from Egypt and serve for the whole Northern Africa region," Ni added, noting that the ICT industry market in Egypt is relatively mature and Egypt is at its peak in industry digital transformation.
Huawei invests 2 million U.S. dollars in office space and equipment construction of OpenLab in an initial stage with a total area to reach over 1,000 square meters, starting in December with 400 square meters in the first phase to be open to customers and partners.
After operation of the OpenLab, more than 250 persons will receive ICT training and more than 60 persons will finish professional certification every year.
In July, a batch of 15 Egyptian students have graduated from Huawei's first ICT Academy in Egypt through a non-profit program that seeks to train ICT talents and promote the development and dissemination of ICT technologies.
"Huawei has been working in Egypt for over 18 years and we are dedicated to one single goal: create value for our customers and the society. We have comprehensive cooperations with all the four major telecommunications services providers, through which we help Egypt update its telecommunications infrastructure," said Liu Dazhou, Huawei Egypt CEO.
Liu thinks that Egypt will be the hub for Huawei North African region, noting that Egypt's under-construction administrative capital city can be a good host of digital platform as a model for Egypt, which can be extended to other newly built cities nationwide, benefiting the government, the society and businesses.
"Digital transformation is underway in Egypt. Each government organization and company has its own plan and vision for it. As a multinational corporation, Huawei has gained plenty of expertise and solutions by working with partners in over 170 countries, which will be the most valuable thing we could offer Egypt," he told Xinhua while Huawei is opening its Northern Africa Innovation Day in Cairo.
Liu noted that most of Huawei's partners have recently started to provide the current generation of 4G services, which will be the cornerstone for the overall updating of Egypt's ICT industry.
One of Huawei's North African partners is Waycon, a Tunisian company offering innovative products in the field of electronic security and networks, whose business expanded beyond the Tunisian borders to operate in nearby Algeria and Morocco, with an eye on Egypt in the near future.
Karim Elleuch, Waycon owner, said that his company has been collaborating with Huewei for about three years, mixing his Waycon's software, expertise of the local market needs with Huawei's hardware solution to handle joint projects in Tunisia.
"Huawei is a giant, great technology company while we're a local company aware of our market and the areas that really need all these great ICT-based products created by Huawei. So, together we're really extremely complimentary, doing complete solutions that are very specific to the needs of the customers," Elleuch told Xinhua in Cairo.
As all advanced societies are moving toward digital transformation to improve services, save money and effort and generally changing people's life via smart ICT solutions varying from mobile payments to digital administration of entire cities, Africa and most developing states are still behind.
Huawei offers Egypt and Africa states cooperation to stay abreast of the latest smart city trends and technology, providing solutions to connect the digital and physical worlds across city administration, public services and industries, which are designed to benefit city residents and businesses in almost every aspect including transportation, education, healthcare, public security and more.
Abdoulkarim Soumaila, Secretary-General of the African Telecommunications Union (ATU), said that his union is privileged to be part of that innovation imitative launched by Huawei in the light of the ATU role to ensure the development of ICT in Africa.
"Innovation is the source of growth," ATU chief said during Huawei Northern Africa Innovation Day in Cairo, noting that improving ICT in Africa has various, very unique impacts on peoples' lives and businesses, becomes a source of inspiration for African young ICT talents and contributes to socioeconomic development in the continent.