Huawei underlines strategic importance of African supplier ecosystem

Amid continued global market reaction to the launch of its HarmonyOS operating system last week, multinational ICT and telecommunications firm Huawei recently hosted a supplier convention at its regional headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa, to reiterate the importance of its suppler partner ecosystem in supporting Africa's digital transformation agenda.

The company's supplier ecosystem comprises 23 countries from the continent and the objective is to roll out platforms, systems and tools to support digitalisation across all sectors and industries.

277 representatives of 150 suppliers from 23 countries across Africa attended the convention, according to Huawei.

Frank Wu, senior director of Huawei Procurement Qualification Quality & Operation Department said a healthy and sustainable ecosystem was important for every player to achieve growth and business success.

"In the digital transformation era, our biggest challenge is how to leverage digital technology in our daily co-operation. Our aim is to gradually make our field delivery work automated and intelligent."

Vice President of Huawei Southern Africa Region, Leo Lu added: "Suppliers, Huawei and our customers share the same business ecosystem. It's a shared responsibility to keep the business ecosystem sound and sustainable, so that all players can achieve healthy growth. To achieve this goal, Huawei is committed to working closely with local partners for a win-win partnership and eventually contribute to the fulfilment of each country's social and economic goals."

Suppliers have responded positively to the growth of the ecosystem and have underlined the potential opportunities in 4IR technology, including 5G.

Tanzanian telecommunications firm Power and Network Back Up is part of this ecosystem and MD Dr Gilliard Loth said: "Huawei has developed a number of tools and systems that help improve efficiency in our work environment. Huawei is very committed to EHS rules, by implementing this we have greatly improved the safety of our staff and our customers. Ours is a good partnership."

Johannesburg-based Sai Telecoms' chief executive officer Chamu Matsika added: "When we started co-operating with Huawei, early in 2012, we were a very small company, with between 15-20 staff. We currently have 200 employees, growing from strength to strength over the years. Our relationship with Huawei is not only material and financial, we have become employers. The future looks very bright, we are especially looking forward to working with Huawei in the 5G space."

Huawei made headlines last week when it launched its operating system HarmonyOS, as an alternative to Google's Android, which Huawei currently uses on its devices.

ITWeb reported that the OS was launched after the company was blacklisted by the US government, which led to companies like Alphabet's Google and British chip designer ARM limit or cease their relationships with the Chinese firm.

Richard Yu, chief executive officer of Huawei's Consumer Business Group, is quoted as saying: "We're entering a day and age where people expect a holistic intelligent experience across all devices and scenarios. To support this, we felt it was important to have an operating system with improved cross-platform capabilities.