Huawei, EACO sign MoU aimed at driving digital participation in East Africa

Huawei and the East African Communication Organisation (EACO) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at driving up levels of digital participation in the region.

The MoU, which was signed by Dr Ally Simba, Executive Secretary, EACO and Yang Hongjie, Director of ICT Strategy and Policy Department of Huawei Southern Africa Region during the 25th EACO Congress and 28th Annual Assembly in Bujumbura, recognises the importance of ICT as a digital enabler. It further contains an agreement that both Huawei and EACO have determined to partner in the areas of ICT Capacity Building for EACO Secretariat staff and EACO members in areas such 5G, cybersecurity, data protection and privacy, and spectrum management. This capacity will be built up through various skills training initiatives, including workshops and other support mechanisms.

(TOP: Huawei’s Yang Hongjie and EACO’s Dr. Ally Simba at the MoU signing ceremony). 

The signing of the memorandum was apt given that the theme of this year’s conference was, “Enabling connection of the unconnected in the East African Region.” Those connections will prove vital especially as the participation of every citizen in the digital economy on the African continent will have a direct impact on growth and job opportunities. Achieving the necessary levels of digital participation will, however, require partnerships and cooperation between stakeholders, of which this MoU is just one example.

“This is a special event and a first MoU for EACO, its members and Huawei. Huawei has a lot of experience, research and innovation,” said Dr Simba. “The MoU is about collaboration in the area of capacity building and training for all our members and we look forward to collaboration for the future in our meetings and technical groups.”

Africa’s digital transformation will significantly be fast-tracked by connecting those in unserviced and under-serviced areas.  Boosting rates of connectivity across the continent will allow for greater levels of participation in the digital economies, jobs and, opportunities of the future. As such, ICT infrastructure and services will become increasingly indispensable for the growth of industry and for individuals’ personal lives.

“We thank Huawei for its commitment to advance EACO in connecting the unconnected,” said Dr. Samuel Muhizi, Director General, of Agence de Régulation et de Contrôle des Telecommunication’s or ARCT. “I am happy that this MoU announcement will be to the benefit of all the EACO member states. We look forward to future discussions and benchmarking together in order to connect all. Digital economy participation of all is crucial for economic and job growth on the continent.”

“Signing this MoU reinforces our collaboration and cooperation with Huawei,” said Patrick Baganizi, who holds the dual roles of Director General at the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) and  EACO Chairman. “We thank Huawei for its ongoing support. I request you to always think bigger and help us to get where we need to be.”

“In this era of rapid technological advancements, digital transformation has emerged as a vital catalyst for economic growth, social development, and regional integration,” he added. “Recognising this, Huawei and EACO have come together with a shared vision to foster collaboration, and bridge the digital divide across East Africa.”

Hongjie further highlighted that, through this MoU, Huawei and EACO pledge to collaborate closely on a range of initiatives to accelerate digital participation in East Africa.


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