Huawei DigiTruck project focuses on youth, jua kali
Mar 09, 2023
The launch which took place during the International Women’s Day celebrations in Kiruhura district is part of the company’s long-term action plan for driving inclusion and sustainability across the globe
Huawei DigiTruck project focuses on youth, jua kali
President H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on Wednesday officially launched the Huawei DigiTruck project to provide free digital skills training for more than 10,000 beneficiaries over a three-year period.
The launch which took place during the International Women’s Day celebrations in Kiruhura district is part of the company’s long-term action plan for driving inclusion and sustainability across the globe through the umbrella of Huawei’s TECH4ALL initiative.
Museveni said 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. 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 International Women’s Day 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’, the main beneficiaries of the TECH4ALL initiative and the Uganda DigiTruck project is youth, Jua-Kali and women.
“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. It will expand the customer landscape and allows businesses to provide clients with a greater range of services and products. The training will also improve financial inclusion through improved ability to operate mobile money operations. The training will expand employment opportunities especially in rural areas, where some youth can start enterprises such as mobile money, secretarial services among others,” said Col. Rtd Okello P. Charles Engola, the Minister of State for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations.
Running in partnership with the Ministry of Labour, Gender and Social Development and an 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, which will promote digitalization of the Informal Sector (jua-kali) enterprises for productivity & Job growth in Uganda.
Alongside women, other intended beneficiaries of the Uganda DigiTruck are youth, people with disabilities, and those involved in ‘jua kali’ businesses - Uganda’s informal sector of micro and small enterprises.
“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.
“To reach underserved communities in remote areas where there is no power and connectivity, we designed the DigiTruck: a state-of-the-art mobile classroom that’s solar powered and fully connected. The DigiTruck program is coordinated with development and training partners globally to close the access and knowledge gap in digital literacy so that no one is left behind.”
Converted from a used shipping container, DigiTrucks are mobile classrooms mounted on trucks. Fully solar-powered, their mobility enables them to be driven to remote and underserved communities that lack training facilities and, in some cases, a power supply.
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, each DigiTruck can accommodate 20 learners in one session and comes equipped with the Huawei IdeaHub smart screen, 21 Huawei smartphones, and 21 Huawei laptops, all of which run on solar power installed on top of the truck.
“The Huawei DigiTruck project aims to transfer ICT skills to the jua-kali enterprise owners in the 4 main regions of Uganda. This project will enable people in the most rural areas of Uganda to obtain ICT Skills which will boost their already existing enterprises and ideas to tap into e-commerce platforms like marketing etc. ICT is a key driver in economic empowerment and with this we will be able to contribute towards narrowing the digital divide in Uganda,” said Gao Fei, Managing Director for Huawei Uganda.
Present at the launch ceremony of the Digitruck project was Janet Museveni, the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Jessica Alupo, the Vice President of Uganda, Dr. Monica M. Musenero, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation and Col. Rtd Okello P. Charles Engola, Minister of State for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations.