Huawei, a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices, today held the second annual Huawei Innovation Day with customers, partners and technology experts from the Middle East and Africa. Held in parallel with GITEX GLOBAL 2022, the Huawei MEA Innovation Day 2022 was organized in partnership with the Arab ICT Organization (AICTO) under the theme of “Collaboration to Unleash Innovation for Sustainable Digital Future”.
The annual event gathered the region’s government leaders from different sectors, industry analysts, ICT ecosystem partners and international standardization, and Huawei’s senior leadership team.
Jeff Wang, Global President of Public Affairs and Communications Huawei, delivered the opening keynote speech to highlight Huawei’s commitment to supporting the MEA digital transformation and ICT sustainability future. “Today, we have heard from customers and partners from the Middle East and Africa who are leveraging our technologies to enable new business models, boost competitiveness and spur sustainable economic growth.” Wang said, adding, “We also heard amazing stories of how technology is being applied to solving some of the greatest challenges facing humanity such as climate change, energy transition, inclusion and women empowerment. Such outcomes inspire us to continue innovating to power a better future for all.”
H.E. Eng. Mohamed Ben Amor, Secretary General of the Arab ICT Organization (AICTO), the event partner, delivered the keynote speech, highlighting the importance of collaboration between various regional stakeholders and global partners to build an integrated ICT ecosystem for a sustainable digital economy. “We are delighted with this collaboration with Huawei around an insightful topic increasingly becoming the keystone for sustainable technological development,” H.E Ben Amor stated, adding, “If “innovation” was always and will remain the engine of economic and social progress with a profound transformational impact on our lives, technological innovation will be, without any doubt, the compulsory way towards a better digital future. Therefore, we highly trust that technological innovation will help transform challenges into opportunities and shorten the path to achieving our common goals. This requires, in particular, a strong regional and international cooperation framework to strengthen national and regional innovation systems and models leading to innovative and sustainable technological initiatives.”
Steven Yi, President of Huawei Middle East & Africa, added: “We are honored with the distinguished audience in our Innovation Day MEA 2022. Our mission remains to bring the broadest ICT ecosystem together to inspire change and deliver socioeconomic growth. We are hopeful the lessons we take from the event today will help bring us closer to an open, intelligent world that has been our mission from Day 1.”
Additionally, various keynotes were also delivered by H.E. Zhang Yiming, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to UAE, H.E. Dr. Fadia Kiwan, Director General of Arab Women Organization, H.E. Dr. Khaled Wali, Director of the ICT Department at the League of Arab States, H.E. Eng. Mohamed Ben Amor, Secretary General of the Arab ICT Organization, , H.E. Dr. Mohammed Al-Ohali, President of KFU (King Faisal University) and Jawad Abbasi, Head of MENA, GSMA.
From his side, Jawad Abbasi, Head of MENA, GSMA, said, “Mobile connectivity is bringing endless potential to all business sectors and also making possible partnerships between sectors. From automotive to aviation, education to entertainment, manufacturing to the metaverse, mobile connectivity has a massive enablement effect. In climate action, last year at COP26, the GSMA called on business leaders and policymakers to start using smart technology to achieve net zero by 2050, and limit global warming to 1.5C. For example, if four main sectors (energy, transport, buildings and manufacturing) expand their use of mobile technology solutions, this would enable global savings of around 11 gigatonnes of carbon emissions by 2030; equivalent to roughly 40% of the total required reduction!”
This year’s Huawei MEA Innovation Day covered themes such as green ICT for the sustainable future of sectors and industries, the ICT talent ecosystem, and empowering women in ICT in the MEA region. In a panel hosted by Toni Eid, founder of Telecom Review Group & CEO of Trace Media, panelists discussed the importance of open partnerships and collaborations for shared success in building the ICT Ecosystem in MEA, the role of Digital Power in telecom networks, and green solutions in cloud. The panel was attended by H.E. Dr. Elsadig Gamaleldeen Elsadig Karar, Director General of the Telecommunications and Post Regulatory Authority of Sudan (TPRA), Dr. Jassim Haji, President, International Group of Artificial Intelligence, Dr. Fahem Al Nuaimi, Ankabut CEO, UAE and Dr. Ammar Al Husaini, Deputy Director General at Central Agency for Information Technology, Kuwait.
Huawei also delved into emerging technologies in the Middle East and Africa, highlighting the importance of cybersecurity and discussing the benefits of integrating technologies like 5G, Cloud, and AI in supporting verticals, key industries, businesses, and public services.
A key topic Huawei explored at the Huawei MEA Innovation Day this year is building talent ecosystems to create future ICT leaders and strategies for strengthening the ICT skill development path for key sectors and industries. ICT talent is significant in driving digital transformation and realizing national plans and visions. In a panel discussion with key industry and academics, the role of public-private partnerships in fostering innovation and equipping the youth with the right tools to become future ICT leaders was highlighted.
The second panel discussion moderated by Caroline Faraj, CNN VP and CNN Arabic Editor-in-Chief, shed light on the important topic of empowering the role of women in tech. In the digital era, Huawei strongly believes that more opportunities and support must be given to women to ensure they have access to the education and training they need to be competitive in the digital economy. Equipping women with these skills has proven to promote social integration and inclusive and diversified societies. The panel was attended by Dr. Fatma Taher, IEEE UAE Section Chair, Dr. Eman Said Al Abri, Dean of the College of Computing and Information Sciences, the University of Technology and Applied Sciences, Oman, Dr.Mardin Abdullah Anwar, Director of ICT and Statistics at Salahaddin University, Erbil, Iraqand Rania Halimeh, Regional Director, META, Logical Operations. Panelists discussed the importance of public and private partnerships to nurture innovation, local female ICT talents and create ICT future leaders, improve university curriculums and programs in light of ICT accelerated innovation, and fill the talent gap in cybersecurity, among other topics.
Shunli Wang, Huawei’s Vice President in the Middle East delivered the closing remarks during the event, and highlighted the need to lead new ways for public-private sector collaborations to drive shared success and “Unleash Innovation for a Sustainable Digital Future in MEA region”. Wang also mentioned Huawei’s focus on 5.5G which will soon become a reality, enabling a 10 Gbps experience and a hundred billion connections.
“More markets in MEA – such as Jordan – have already announced the launch of 5G. We look forward to supporting Jordan in introducing the benefits of 5G, and we call for maintaining a fair, unbiased, and transparent 5G business environment. We believe that providing equal opportunities to global 5G vendors based on existing work track record, global experience, cost, and international standards effectiveness will ensure raising the bar in the competitiveness of the local telecom market and efficiently contribute to the national plans and visions,” concluded Wang.