Huawei has announced the launch of a South Africa-based Cloud and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Innovation Centre to drive innovation, knowledge transfer and economic growth through app development in the AI industry.

The announcement was made by Ray Rui, President of HUAWEI CLOUD Africa Region, during the HUAWEI CLOUD Summit Africa 2020, an online event to unpack the opportunities of cloud computing for African business under the theme “Building an Intelligent Africa”.

“AI will be critical to social evolution and industrial growth in future,” said Mr Rui. “We also believe that when you grow economic opportunities, everyone benefits. For this reason, we are opening the Huawei Cloud and AI Innovation Centre to application developers across all economic sectors.”

The new centre will be based at Huawei’s South African headquarters in Woodmead, Johannesburg, but developers across Africa will be able to access the centre remotely. It will teach AI application best practice, link developers to markets, support AI supply chains, develop talent and support application innovation.

Several speakers at the summit described how AI is transforming industries – a process only being accelerated by the challenges of the global Covid-19 pandemic. Innovations such as smart cities, connected cars, automated mining and precision agriculture are already driven by AI, and oil exploration, finance and retail are also leveraging machine learning to be more effective.

“Enabling developers is the best engine for AI growth,” said MrRui. “The new centre is part of this approach.”

As part of HUAWEI CLOUD’s “Inclusive AI” strategy, the company has an open development ecosystem to enable collaboration and tech support. The new Huawei Cloud&AI Innovation Centre will feed into this by providing training in Huawei’s full-stack, all-scenario solutions, and platforms like ModelArts.

Other summit speakers included more than a dozen HUAWEI CLOUD partners from across Africa, outlining how cloud technology was transforming their industries.

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