At MWC MTN Group and Huawei have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen strategic cooperation in environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters.
The MoU is aligned with MTN’s Ambition 2025 strategy and Huawei’s Corporate Sustainability Development strategy.
Among a number of Huawei initiatives, the Huawei DigiTruck provides free training in digital skills for those in need, including rural communities, the elderly, the unemployed, and girls and women in particular. Converted from a used shipping container mounted on a truck, the DigiTruck is a solar-powered mobile classroom equipped with laptops, smartphones and 4G connectivity.
It is complemented by the Huawei ICT Academy, which trains university students in ICT skills such as 5G, cloud computing and AI. There are 1,900 Huawei ICT Academies in 110 countries, serving around 150,000 students a year.
As for MTN, the MTN Skills Academy seeks to enhance the link between digital skills training and demand for jobs to ensure that people across the continent are producers, consumers and innovators of digital technologies.
The partnership agreement signed at MWC seeks to accelerate efforts to reach more rural and remote communities and to broaden the portfolio of available digital skills training.
With a significant portion of Africa’s population living in rural areas, MTN is committed to expanding its network to underserved communities and reach a target of 95% rural broadband coverage by 2025. The partnership with Huawei will support the achievement of this target as well as MTN’s approach to expand the number of collaborations and the types of partnership models it follows.
MTN and Huawei are already collaborating on deploying RuralStar, an affordable connectivity solution for providing online access to remote and rural communities. The solution overcomes traditional barriers that make network connectivity in such scenarios unviable for carriers. The parties will extend their collaboration following the completion of the first RuralStar proof-of-concept in Ghana in 2017.
The partners will also work on decarbonising MTN’s telecommunications infrastructure, spanning radio access network (RAN) sites, transport networks, storage and data centres. Network decarbonisation will be done via a mix of energy efficiency technologies and the application of innovative green solutions.