By Mark Kawalya
President, Yoweri Museveni, has unveiled the Huawei DigiTruck project in Uganda to provide free digital skills training to more than 10,000 people over a three-year period. The project, which is part of Huawei’s TECH4ALL initiative, aims to drive inclusion and sustainability globally.
“I have launched the Huawei DigiTruck project in Uganda. A project that will benefit over 10,000 Ugandans in a period of three years, especially the jua-kali (informal sector), enterprise owners, women, young girls, and students through digital skilling,” the president said in a tweet shortly after the launch.
By boosting the citizens’ use of mobile money, the training will accelerate financial inclusion, increasing employment opportunities, especially in rural areas whilst acting as a catalyst for youth to engage in business ventures.
The initiative is focused on promoting digital foundation skilling, digital transactions, internet-based problem solving, civic responsibility, and data privacy, with the aim of promoting the digitalization of the informal sector.
The DigiTruck project is in line with Uganda’s 2040 vision, the Education Digital Agenda Strategy, the National Development Plan, and is run in partnership with the Ministry of Labour, Gender, and Social Development along with Close the Gap, an international social enterprise.
Aside from women, other beneficiaries of the DigiTruck project are people with disabilities, the youth, and players in the informal sector.
“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.
She added that “to reach underserved communities in remote areas where there is no power or connectivity, we designed the DigiTruck: a state-of-the-art mobile classroom that’s solar powered and fully connected.”
DigiTrucks are made from modified used shipping containers that are mounted on trucks and operate as mobile classrooms. They can be deployed in remote areas to cater to underserved communities since they are fully powered by solar.
Structured 40-hour courses have been developed that train students in digital literacy, such as how to use the internet, office software, and soft skills like resume writing and online job applications.
Each DigiTruck has a 4G internet connection and can train 20 learners at a time. The truck is equipped with 21 Huawei smartphones, 21 Huawei laptops, and a Huawei IdeaHub smart screen that all run on the truck’s solar power.