UNESCO and Huawei announce partnership to improve digital skills and the application of AI in East Africa

Image from Huawei

The UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa and Huawei announced a new partnership to improve digital skills in Africa and explore the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), under the auspices of Huawei’s digital inclusion initiative TECH4ALL.

The collaboration will focus on, among others:

  • DigiTruck, a project implemented by NGO Close the Gap and sponsored by Huawei, which equips teachers with digital skills to use technology in their teaching; allows youth to learn and gain employment online; and gives those who have never used the internet or smartphones the opportunity to gain digital literacy skills.
  • Improve the digital skills of young people through Huawei’s ICT Academy Program, ICT Competition and Campus Ambassador Program.
  • Promoting the adoption of AI and cloud computing in education and to achieve the SDGs by offering trainings to education and research institutions, teachers and students in East Africa.
  • Organizing forums and events to enhance countries’ capacity for using AI.

first AI training for university lecturers in Kenya has already taken place (the lecturers will begin offering Huawei-certified AI training courses to their students through the Huawei ICT Academy program before end 2019). The DigiTruck also started operations in Kenya in September. 

The MOU between the two partners was signed by Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director for UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa, and Tao Jingwen, Board Member and Chairman of Huawei’s CSD (Corporate Sustainable Development) Committee during Huawei Connect, the company’s flagship annual tech event, held in Shanghai from 18 to 20 September 2019. 

Speaking about TECH4ALL, Mr. Jingwen said: “Huawei is not only fully committed to this initiative but recognizes the importance of collaboration with partners in order to implement this ambitious program and achieve wide-scale and sustainable impact. UNESCO is an excellent partner for us, not only in expanding digital skills to those in remote areas but also in the use of technology to improve education where they have extensive experience and expertise.”