Angola: China’s Huawei opens training centre in Angola

29 October 2008

Luanda, Angola, 29 Oct – Huawei, the Chinese multinational telecommunications network company, has announced it will soon open a training centre for sector professionals in Angola, according to the trade press.

Citing information from the Chinese company, South African website ITWeb said that expected growth in Africa had led Huawei to open another centre in Angola, after in July inaugurating a training centre in South Africa, its fifth in Africa.

According to Huawei’s estimates, the company expects turnover in Africa in 2008 of around US$2 billion, as compared with US$1.6 billion in 2007.

Bo Xue, the managing director of Huawei for sub-Saharan Africa, said that opening the training centre in Angola – for which date and location are not yet known – was a result of a need to find technically trained people to work with wireless WiMax and fourth generation networks, to meet market demand, ITWeb reported.

“Getting these technicians from China or Europe would be the short term solution. The sustainable and long term solution is to invest in training local technicians,” Bo said.

“The centres also make it possible for us to transfer knowledge and qualifications to our partners about new generation networks, thus overcoming the lack of technical staff and engineers in Angola,” he said.

The Angolan centre will be the sixth in Africa, after Nigeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Kenya and South Africa.

In Angola, Huawei had been training local technicians by shipping them to the company’s headquarters in Shenzhen, with over 400 Angolans taking part in this scheme.

The Chinese company recently announced an investment of US$7 million to build a technical telecommunications training centre and to transform the Angola Telecommunications Institute into a Telecommunications University.

In the Angolan market, Huawei sells technology to operators Angola Telecom and MSTelcom and has an office of around 100 staff, of which around half are Angolan, the company said.

According to Huawei’s worldwide Communications director, Ross Gan, it is in the emerging markets that the Shenzhen company (in Guangdong province, bordering Macau) expects greatest growth, due to population increases and the low penetration levels of mobile phones.

The company’s new focus for Africa, Ross Gan said, was to develop specific products to respond to the specific difficulties of the continent, such as a lack of electricity.

Huawei thus pledges in the short term to provide more energy efficient technology to ensure mobile network coverage across the whole territory of the markets in which it operates.

Huawei in 2007 announced revenues of US$16 billion and expects an increase in 2008 to US$23 billion.

In 2007 the African market accounted for 36 percent of new sales for Huawei. (macauhub)