Huawei South Africa and SITA, the IT business for the South African government – have launched the first phase of an innovation centre aimed at fostering ICT talent and growing small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in the sector.
The centre aims to be a space where people can co-develop and showcase more digital solutions that can help improve service delivery efficiency and accelerate the South African government’s digital transformation efforts.
Evolving government services to a point where they take a digital first approach is a key pillar for the current administration, with President Cyril Ramaphosa having emphasised as far back as 2020 that digital transformation has to be harnessed “to change the way we live, learn, work and govern.”
“As government, we are fully committed to leveraging public-private partnerships to accelerate digital transformation,” says Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies. “This is a great example of how such partnerships, between SITA and Huawei, can be used to not only benefit government but also to build talent and support SMMEs.”
Through its collaboration with SITA on the innovation centre, Huawei will be able to bring its rich experience in transformative technology and skills development to the government space. It enters into the collaboration with SITA on the recognition that the successful implementation of South Africa’s National Development Plan 2030 and 4IR Strategy goes hand in hand with an indispensable and sustainable talent supply.
“We are very proud to be part of this partnership to broaden digitisation and local innovation. I look forward to Huawei and SITA working together to develop more innovative solutions and showcases for South African public sector customers, in training and ICT talent cultivation and importantly support SITA’s SMME program with access to the latest digital technologies,” says Huawei South Africa CEO Spawn Fan.
“This innovation centre serves as a platform to enable access to technical facilities, to facilitate market access for the SMMEs and to accelerate transformation of the ICT industry. This demonstrates that a true measure of our legacy in this field lies more in what we have done, than in what we have promised to do,” says SITA CEO Luvuyo Keyise.
The innovation centre underlines Huawei’s commitment to promoting ICT skills development and supporting the development of SMME’s, especially in the ICT sector.