Huawei stages inaugural ICT conference in Botswana
By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana
Huawei Technologies Botswana held its inaugural ICT conference where a lot of its cutting edge technology was on display. Speaking during the opening ceremony of the conference the Chinese ambassador to Botswana Zheng Zhuqiang had all praises for the showcase. “This ICT conference and exhibition is about the latest and cutting-edge ICT technologies and I am very pleased to learn that, as an important ICT solutions provider in Botswana, Huawei’s products and services are aimed at improving our daily communication and facilitating the way we do business by significantly enhancing performances in social and economic sectors such as telecommunication, agriculture, health, finance, power, energy, education, mining, transport and a number of other sectors.
He added that Huawei’s solutions were designed to contribute to wealth creation by empowering individuals and organizations to explore new opportunities provided by new technologies, thus improving socio-economic development and improving people’s lives. “To give you an easy example, we have seen an increased participation of everyone in news and information sharing and this was just brought about by affordable ICT products such as Huawei’s. I believe this aim is perfectly in line with Botswana’s goal of building a knowledge-based economy and an innovative society.”
He said in the past, a nation's wealth was largely dependent on its natural resources, its labor force and its accumulated capital base. “However, with the arrival of the Information Society that we are still experiencing today, the 'new' wealth of a nation is increasingly determined by its capability in mastering and applying innovative technologies and knowledge, whichever form they might take. ICT is just such a technology which enables information and knowledge to be shared in real time, in previously unimaginable amounts and scope. Today, basically in every industry, be it agriculture, health, education, human resources or environmental management, the effects brought by application of ICT can be revolutionary.
Twenty years ago, can you imagine attending a classroom that is situated in another country in real-time? Can you imagine having a conference with participants from around every corner of the world? But today, these are very easy cases. The influence of ICT on our daily lives has become ever more apparent. It is fair to say that ICT has an enormous potential especially for developing countries in realizing their sustainable development by bridging the differences in time and distance.”
Tshenolo Mabeo, Minister of Transport and Communications echoed the sentiments that Huawei contributes to the Botswana society not only by improving efficiency of communication/ICT, reducing communication costs, or building a better connected Botswana, but also by acting as a responsible corporate citizen.
“Across the past 18 years, they have carried out many Corporate Social Responsibility events to benefit local communities. To share with you just one example, they have participated in the WTISD (World Telecommunication and Information Society Day) Commemorations for a consecutive four years. Last week Friday, I personally witnessed their donation of 70 Huawei Tablets to schools in Thamaga and Moshupa.
Their determination to promote educational development has seen fruitful outcomes. The schools they have donated to last year in Palapye have fared much better than other schools during national exams and these teachers and students tell me that with the aid of the gadgets it is much easier for them to search for learning materials online. I encourage you all present here to follow Huawei’s example and do more to give back to the communities where you operate.”
He noted that “This ICT conference, and the Huawei IT truck outside this venue, I believe, is also part of Huawei’s social responsibility, to showcase the latest equipment, technologies, solutions and to educate us, government and enterprises alike, about the latest trend in the industry, to show what’s happening in other parts of the world, to present us how IT and ICT can play a better part in your businesses and in our Country’s development. I encourage you to cherish this occasion to bring home knowledge and practices that you find useful to you.”