The Africa Green ICT Forum 2021, co-hosted by Huawei and Informa, concluded on December 7. With a focus on ''Building a Green Africa, Bridging the Energy Gap'', this virtual event brought together industry leaders from Huawei, GSMA, Uptime Institute, Omdia, Chemtech Solar, African Development Bank, Orange Mali, Vodafone Egypt, and Egyptian Petroleum Pipelines Company. These notable industry players called for collective actions to fuel the green ICT growth and accelerate the transition to clean energy across Africa.
As global momentum builds towards carbon neutrality, the time has come to gradually reduce the use and production of fossil fuels in Africa by embracing new technologies.
''Carbon neutrality has become a global consensus and mission. I believe it will be one of the biggest changes in the upcoming 30-40 years. It will not only revolutionize power production and consumption, but also bring about opportunities to upgrade all industries as well as rethink our economy and society,'' Dr. Fang Liangzhou, VP and CMO of Huawei Digital Power, said at the Forum.
Without affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy, there will be digital transformation and little chance of making Africa more economically competitive in the post-pandemic era. Chronic challenges in Africa's power sector – such as low electrification rates, insufficient and unstable electricity supply, and high prices – have significantly undermined the region's digital competitiveness.
Huawei has long been a dedicated contributor to the renewable energy transition in Africa. Alvin Gong, president of Huawei Northern African Digital Power business department, shared Huawei's successful experience and best practices in replacing diesel generators with solar power and ICT Site Power Utilization. ''One cornerstone and two drivers exist for Northern African Digital Power Development. Introducing and implementing policies to promote green energy industry development serves as the cornerstone; while the two drivers refer to solar access and oil removal, and clean and affordable energy access for more people.''
Orange Mali, a leading operator in Mali, is among the first to implement digital?intelligent, and green innovation solutions in Africa to make full use of green energy to reduce carbon emissions of the operation. When speaking about the role of the telecommunication operator in the renewable energy transition, Orange Mali's CEO Brelotte Ba said, "In many areas in Africa, mobile and data are available even before electricity. Telcos, therefore, have a key role to play in energy transition, by deploying green solutions from the start."
Industry stakeholders, including Vodafone Egypt, at the event also shared their insights into the important role of the ICT sector in the region's green growth. ''Desperate times call for desperate measures, our planet needs our intervention,'' noted Mr. Ahmed Arnous, senior specialist of Vodafone Egypt, who introduced Vodafone's diesel reduction journey at the event and shared Vodafone's vision to purchase 100% of electricity from renewable resources by 2025.
Carbon neutrality cannot be achieved if we work alone. Collective efforts are necessary. The impressive turnout at the Africa Green ICT Forum 2021 has highlighted global interest in green energy. In response to market demand and the increasing push toward clean energy, Huawei will continue to serve Africa and make sustained contributions to the green ICT development.