Speaking at Huawei Connect 2019, Huawei’s Deputy Chairman Ken Hu highlighted that only inclusive innovation can empower the world in true sense.
Hu narrated examples that showed how digital technologies have transformed lives across the spectrum, but impacted others who are deprived of these facilities.
“While enjoying the conveniences of science and technology, we must also look at the other side of the story,” he said.
“In many cities in China, the elderly might be unable to hail a taxi on the street, because taxis are now often booked via mobile phones. In Bangladesh, women don’t have many opportunities to learn about computers. On the Comoros, until two years ago, the inhabitants were isolated from the outside world, because they had no communications network,” Hu said.
Digital inclusion can be achieved by making technology warmer, according to Hu. With this intent, Huawei launched the TECH4ALL initiative.
While technology is often interpreted as a tool that gradually distances people from nature, it can also bring people closer, relationships stronger and make a better world.
“Today, African children can see the outside world. Visually impaired children can experience the endless joy of reading. People can now understand the frequencies whales send out to their loved ones. The list goes on,” he added.
With the motto that technology is the foundation, applications are the key, and skills provide assurance, TECH4ALL will focus on three areas: technology, applications, and skills.
Huawei will continuously reduce connection costs and remove coverage barriers through technological innovation in connectivity, AI, cloud, and mobile devices.
Second, it will empower ecosystems and help developers create more applications for different communities and industries.
Huawei will work with local governments, communities, and other sectors to enhance the digital skills of all of society.
Huawei also identified four domains in which it could comprehensively promote digital inclusion.
Healthcare: Using digital technology to give more people easy access to better healthcare resources.
Education: Using technology to give the disadvantaged, such as women and teenagers, equal access to education and enrich education resources.
Development: Eliminating development gaps for various sectors, businesses, regions, and groups, ensuring equal access to digital resources and enabling technology to benefit everyone.
Environment: Using innovative technologies to help NGOs more efficiently protect and conserve ecosystems.
Ann Therese, head of UN UNESCO’s East Africa Office, said that ICT and AI will help her organization achieve the SDGs more rapidly. UNESCO will join Huawei in TECH4ALL’s DigiTruck program, to provide digital skills training to teachers and women in remote rural regions.