Chinese communications giant, Huawei, says it wants to bring the latest technologies, including 5G, to Namibia.
“We would also like to work with MTC to maximally utilize its infrastructures to benefit Namibians, with ICT solutions like Safe City to make cities safer. We all know that Namibia's roads rank the best in Africa,” Huawei’s Senior Vice President for Southern Africa, Luo Lei, said during a ceremony on Monday to mark 10 years of their partnership with MTC.
Lei said the recent deal between the two companies is the delivery of a comprehensive fibre internet and digital Cloud Computing services to support government, public and private enterprises in Namibia.
Namibia has been a frontrunner in the adoption of ICT on the continent. Africa’s first DWDM, a technology that increases bandwidth over existing fibre networks was adopted in Namibia in 2011.
Africa’s first 4.5G network was also tried in the country.
“In 2017, partnering with Huawei, MTC embarked upon the journey to provide 100 percent population coverage in the country,” Lei said.
Huawei is a leading global ICT solutions provider, ranking No. 72 on the Fortune 500 list.
Chinese Ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming, said with the largest Internet population in the world, China has made major breakthroughs in innovation in modern times.
“China has developed the “New Four Great Inventions”, namely high-speed railways, electronic payments, shared bicycles and online shopping, of which three inventions directly relate to mobile communication. At present, China is actively piloting and promoting 5G networks, and will continue to lead the international trend in the field of mobile communication in the future.”
According to MTC Chairman, Elvis Nashilongo, the mobile operator has paid over N$ 5 billion in dividends to shareholders since its inception.
President Hage Geingob, who was the main speaker at the event, said the MTC/Huawei partnership is indicative of the all-weather friendship shared between China and Namibia.
He said amongst the themes identified by government under Vision 2030 are Knowledge, Innovation, Information and Technology.
Geingob said the private sector must work hand in hand with the government to solve the country’s social problems, including lack of housing.
“We are well aware that the housing backlog in Namibia is ever increasing. I am informed that the numbers of shacks are estimated at 500,000 and growing by the day.
“Housing and the land are two of our top priorities. It is for this reason that I initiated the recently held Land Conference, in order to address the issue of land head on. Part of dealing with the problem is to call it by its name. The situation in informal settlements is a humanitarian crisis. There is no other way to look at it.
“Government will declare it an emergency in order to oblige relevant stakeholders to mobilize resources and accelerate implementation of conference resolutions,” the president said.
At the occasion, MTC together with Huawei donated N$10 million towards the Buy-a-Brick Initiative. The money will be used to build 250 housing units for low -to-no-income earners at a cost of N$40,000 per unit.