Huawei and partners to boost digital inclusion in Uganda through DigiTruck project
DigiTruck will provide free digital skills training for more than 10,000 beneficiaries.
Ugandan President H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni officially launched a new DigiTruck project in Uganda.
The project will provide free training in digital skills for more than 10,000 beneficiaries over three years.
Launched on March 8 at an event celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) in Kiruhura District, the DigiTruck project is a part of Huawei’s TECH4ALL initiative, the company’s long-term initiative for driving inclusion and sustainability across the globe.
President Yoweri Museveni commented in a tweet, “I launched the Huawei DigiTruck project in Uganda. A project that will benefit over 10,000 Ugandans in a span of 3 years especially jua-kali, enterprise owners, women, young girls and students through Digital Skilling.” He added that, “Digital transformation is one of the key drivers of effective human capital development, it therefore gives me pleasure to launch this Huawei Project.”
In line with the IWD theme of ‘DigitAll: Innovation for a gender equal future’ and Uganda’s national theme of ‘Equal Opportunities in Education, Science Technology for Innovation and a Gender Equal Future’, priority beneficiaries of the Uganda DigiTruck project include girls and women. Other target beneficiaries are young people and ‘Jua-Kali’ micro and small business owners.
“Digitization of Jua Kali enterprises will create sustainable livelihood opportunities for the informal sector, as it will enable small businesses to participate in regional and national trade, expand the customer landscape, and allow businesses to provide clients with a greater range of services and products,” said Col. Rtd Okello P. Charles Engola, Minister of State for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations in Uganda. “The training will also improve financial inclusion through improved ability to operate mobile money operations and expand employment opportunities, especially in rural areas.”
Running in partnership with the Ministry of Labour, Gender and Social Development and the international social enterprise Close the Gap, the Uganda DigiTruck project is aligned with the nation’s 2040 vision, National Development Plan, and Education Digital Agenda Strategy. The focus of these initiatives includes promoting digital foundation skills, digital communications and information, digital transactions, using the Internet for problem-solving, online safety, civic responsibility, and data privacy.
“As an international social enterprise that exists to bridge the digital divide, Close the Gap believes that access to digital skills is key to empowering individuals economically and socially,” said Francisca Muema, DigiTruck Project Manager from Close the Gap.
Converted from used shipping containers, DigiTrucks are truck-mounted mobile classrooms that can be driven to remote communities that lack training facilities. Each 40-hour course trains students in digital literacy skills such as how to use devices, office software, and the Internet, alongside soft skills such as writing a resume, applying for jobs online, and running an online business. Connected by 4G, the Uganda DigiTruck can accommodate 20 learners in one session and comes equipped with a Huawei IdeaHub smart screen, smartphones, and laptops. As all devices are solar powered, DigiTrucks can serve communities that lack a power supply.
“This project will enable people in the most rural areas of Uganda to obtain ICT skills and boost their businesses with e-commerce and online marketing. This is why we have the slogan ‘A better You for a Better Uganda’,” said Gao Fei, Managing Director for Huawei Uganda. “We will keep innovating and making efforts with our partners to promote a more inclusive and sustainable digital world for all.”
Huawei has so far run DigiTruck projects in Kenya, Ghana, and France with a focus on bringing digital skills to people that are most likely to be left behind in the digital world, including rural communities, the elderly, and unemployed youth, people with disabilities, and women.
- Chris Chen, photo Huawei