Chinese telecom giant Huawei on Thursday signed cooperation contracts with global and local music vendors in South Africa to accelerate digitalization of African music.

At the Huawei Southern Africa Partner Summit held in Johannesburg, Huawei inked contracts with Spice Music, Mtech, CCA and other local music vendors.

Africa has shown a great demand for digital services, like music, game and video. According to Huawei’s analysis, in five years, digital services’ year-on-year growth here will be about 40 percent. However, there remains a big gap between the growing demands and the digital productions.

The summit, aimed at creating a sharing platform to promote digital collaboration in Africa, has attracted over 40 industry partners.

Wilson Feng, President of Huawei’s Carrier Business in Southern Africa Region, said at the summit that Huawei is willing to work hand-in-hand with Africa partners to create a better industry ecosystem.

“We will leverage our innovative technologies of digital services, and our global resources to improve African consumers’ digital experience, and accelerate African’s digital economy development,” Feng said.

Through the cooperation, Huawei’s digital business cloud will also help their partners in monetization, which means it’s a win-win solution for all parties in the ecosystem, he said.

The cooperation with content providers means Huawei will have the copyrights of millions of latest music from the international and local vendors. This is Huawei’s first breakthrough into the global music space.

Huawei will then be able to provide the music to telecom operators in South Africa, like Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, etc, which offer music to their end users through their music apps.

The summit also witnessed Huawei’s efforts in leveraging its Digital inCloud, a software platform, to integrate content across music, video, gaming and other digital service genres.

Siphumelele Zondi, senior producer and anchor of South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), said there would be a great need for local South African artists to venture into the digital space.

Often local content is on demand but not available on digital platforms, which then promotes piracy, he said.

“Africa is a mobile device intensive environment, and platforms such as Huawei’s Digital inCloud can aid the availability of local content to Africa,” said Zondi.