Global mobile giant Huawei has unveiled the DigiTruck project, in partnership with Belgium nonprofit organization Close the Gap, to provide digital skills training to rural and remote communities in Kenya. The DigiTruck is Huawei’s latest effort driving their digital inclusion initiative Tech4ALL.
With the rapid development of the global digital economy, the World Bank’s latest report points out that Southern Africa’s demand for digital skills in 2030 is as high as 230 million people, which is in stark contrast to the current prevailing lack of digital skills in Africa.
In Kenya, for example, despite being the ICT hub in Africa, Internet users account for less than 50% of the total population, not only because more than 75% of the population live in remote areas, lacking stable power supply, but also because many people do not realize the real value of digital skills, who have never been exposed to smartphones or used the Internet.
Huawei DigiTruck is designed to increase the awareness and accessibility of digital skills by delivering digital skills to remote homes through mobile digital classrooms converted from truck containers. The DigiTruck is equipped with wireless broadband-enabled by Fixed Wireless Access, laptops, and smartphones enabling internet skills to be taught aboard and incorporating VR content in digital education.
It also has solar panels and batteries capable of powering it, so it can reach remote rural villages with no electricity where local teachers, women and youth can be trained. The devices inside the truck are refurbished, extending the life of these devices; responsible e-waste management will be one topic taught on the DigiTruck as well as being safe online.
“For over 15 years, Close the Gap has been bridging the digital divide in developing countries by providing high quality refurbished ICT-devices to more than 5700 projects with a social impact. With the different DigiTrucks we have been able to reach even the most isolated communities that have little or no access to ICT, also bring quality training and education to these areas. With the support of Huawei, Close the Gap is honored to coordinate a new DigiTruck-project in Kenya and make a positive impact on the lives of Kenyans,” said Olivier Vanden Eynde, Founder and CEO of Close the Gap.
“The empowering use of ICT is closely connected to socio-economic development. Our 20 years of experience connecting rural communities in Africa has shown us that wireless broadband access is significantly changing the way we live and work in the digital world,” said Ritchie Peng, Chief Marketing Officer, Huawei Wireless Solution. “Huawei is continually innovating to bring wireless internet access and the skills to use it to those who need it. Technology can do good, but as our contribution to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, we must make sure no-one is left behind. We are proud to collaborate with Close the Gap on this inspiring project.”
Huawei is committed to bring digital to every person, home and organization. The Huawei DigiTruck will move around rural communities on planned dates with our partners to provide digital skills training to teachers, digital literacy training to those who have never been online, and show youth how to study and earn income online. A total of 7,000 teachers and community members are expected to be trained on digital literacy, entrepreneurship, and online job opportunities within the first year of implementation benefitting tens of thousands of students.