Huawei announced it has already brought connectivity to 90 million people in remote regions in nearly 80 countries following its pledge to the International Telecommunication Union's (ITU) Partner2Connect (P2C) Digital Coalition. The announcement was made as part of Huawei's first progress report since joining the Coalition last year.
Dr. Liang Hua, Chairman of the Board of Huawei, made the announcement at the company's 2023 Sustainability Forum, which is themed "Thriving Together with Tech: Realizing Sustainable Development." In addition to, Doreen Bogdan-Martin, the Secretary-General of ITU; Jeffrey Sachs, President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Commissioner of the UN Broadband Commission for Development; as well as representatives from telecommunications ministries and regulators, including some from Pakistan and Ghana. Participants examined the ways in which digital infrastructure can facilitate sustainable development and contribute to the construction of an intelligent world that is both greener and more inclusive.
"Next-generation digital infrastructure, such as connectivity and computing power, are as vital to driving socio-economic development as our physical infrastructure, just like roads. This new infrastructure will be essential to the sustainable development for all of society," Dr. Liang said. "Computing is a core driver of productivity in the digital economy. Faster rollout of computing infrastructure will help speed up digital transition in many industries, and promote deeper integration of the digital and real economies. This can further promote global economic stability and sustainable development."
Further adding to Dr. Liang's comment, Doreen Bogdan-Martin, the Secretary-General of ITU, said: "We should not make a trade-off between sustainable development and technology. We require both ! Let's thrive together with tech. Let's construct a digital future that propels human and environmental progress forward."
Huawei firmly believes digital talent is key to future technological innovation. To foster more widespread digital engagement and develop future leaders, the company has deepened its partnership with ITU by launching a fellowship known as the "ITU Generation Connect Young Leadership Programme in Partnership with Huawei".
The fellowship will be open for applications early next year and will last three years. Each year, 30 young visionaries (aged 18-28) from around the world will receive support in their projects to use digital technology to drive community development.
Jeff Wang, President of Huawei's Public Affairs and Communications Department, noted: "Huawei is proud to partner with ITU for this important cause, and to witness the concrete progress that young visionaries are making toward global digital inclusion. The support that participants will receive includes financial contributions to their projects, mentoring from ITU and Huawei experts, and opportunities to participate in joint events."
"Through ITU and Huawei's joint efforts, young people will learn, contribute and lead in the digital world," stated Dr Cosmas Luckyson Zavazava, Director of ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau. "Digital is a prerequisite for accelerating the achievement of the SDGs. We encourage youth to push the boundaries of the expanding global digital ecosystem and make transformative contributions. I am grateful to Huawei for this great cooperation, and I am looking forward to the global impact of this innovative project."
The P2C Coalition, launched by ITU, fosters meaningful connectivity and digital transformation globally, prioritizing remote communities in countries and regions that lack digital access. Huawei signed the global commitment last year, with the objective of connecting 120 million people in remote areas across more than 80 countries by 2025. In collaboration with local ministries and universities, Huawei has already provided 2,066 training opportunities in Cambodia, the ITU's first P2C partner country.