Chinese tech giant Huawei is investing $430 million to unlock a huge potential in Africa for digitalisation and smart technologies.

The investment, unveiled by company president Terry He during the recent Huawei Connect event in Shanghai, will be rolled out over a five-year period across 28 countries in the North Africa region and will go towards the setting up of a cloud centre and training digital professionals, including tech specialists and software developers.

The company looks to integrate smart technologies, especially artificial intelligence (AI), into vital sectors, including health, education, transportation, finance, agriculture and mining.

In a statement, Huawei said Africa "represents a pivotal element of the company's growth ambitions." A huge proportion of Africa's population (60%) are 25 years old or younger. The continent's significant potential in green energy also offers "competitive advantage" in the AI era.

How the capital will be spent

Under Huawei's five-year investment plan called "Intelligent Future", $200 million will be used to establish the region's first public cloud centre, which will offer more than 200 cloud services. Another $200 million will support 200 "local software partners and empower 1,300 channel partners".

Huawei will set aside $30 million to train 10,000 local developers and educate 100,000 digital professionals, to create a skilled workforce and drive intelligent transformation in the region.

"To expedite intelligent transformation in Northern Africa, Huawei will intensify its investments in technologies, ecosystems and talent," said He.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)