TECH giant Huawei South Africa says it is proud to support the ICT Sector Genders Strategic Programme event by the Department of Communication and Digital Technologies (DCDT).

The event, held last month under the theme for Women’s Month: “Women’s Socio-Economic Rights Empowerment and Resilience”, was attended by among other dignitaries Minister of Communications and Digital Technology, Khumubzo Ntshavheni and Acting DG Nonkqubela Jordan-Dyani. It also attracted industry leaders from a variety of sectors. 

The event focused on growth, development, and transformation in the ICT sector and included a discussion of the government’s goal of ensuring that at least 40% of the goods and services it procures are from women-owned businesses, SMMES, youth-owned enterprises and 0.5% from persons with disabilities.

Ntshavheni highlighted the need to build on a social compact with the industry and ensure that the 40% goal of female representation is also reflected in both employment and appointments, where all industry players are actively involved.

Achieving that level of representation, she said, is a “collective responsibility”.

“So, when we go into a social compact with the totality of the industry, we want 40% at the employment level in the tech space, we’ll contract on management, on top positions, and procurement,” said Ntshavheni.

She added: “Empowerment is not an end-state, it’s a progression,” she added. “I’m glad to see the CEO of Huawei here, we can only identify the right skills needed to achieve equity if we’re in conversation with industry players.”  

ADG Jordan-Dyani highlighted the significance of the programme and also expressed gratitude to Huawei (amongst others) as a sponsor for the support given towards ensuring a successful event.

She said: “There are challenges that are experienced daily by women in terms of breaking barriers,” she said. “I’m happy that this forum today indicated that in order for us to reach our targets, we need both women and men to get there.

“This day would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors.”

Huawei has previously collaborated with the DCDT on ICT training for women. That includes an annual skills training programme aimed at equipping women SMMEs with the latest digital skills.  

The 2022 Women in Tech Skills Training for Women Entrepreneurs Programme is taking place through the course of September this year, offering training on Cloud Computing, Leadership Development and Digital Marketing.