Has China Already Won The Race To Invest In Africa’s Tech Infrastructure?

Written by Staff
Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, shakes hands with Senegalese President Macky Sall, right, during Beijing Summit Of The Forum On China-Africa Cooperation – Joint Press Conference at the Great Hall of the People Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018 in Beijing, China. (Lintao Zhang/Pool Photo via AP)

The US has been warning countries across the world that technology developed by Chinese firms like Huawei and ZTE could present a security risk. Washington says devices running on Chinese-made systems could provide a backdoor for Beijing to spy. And while the US campaign to get tech firms like Huawei banned in many countries has been hotly debated in Europe and elsewhere, African countries have by and large ignored it.

Chinese investment in Africa’s tech infrastructure continues to gain momentum on the continent. “Made in China” technology now serves as the backbone of network infrastructure in several African countries, unbeknownst to millions of users.

Story from Deutsche Welle.

“Many African consumers have no idea they are using or talking on Chinese built [Internet, Communications and Technology] infrastructure,” says Iginio Gagliardone, a professor at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa.

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Chinese firms like Huawei, ZTE and China Telecom are behind the core systems of new ICT infrastructure across Africa. And they are providing the next generation of technology.

In the last decade, African countries have largely turned to China to help them build and expand their digital infrastructure — with some countries increasingly dependent on Beijing. But that’s just one reason Washington’s warnings are going unheeded.

Read more at Deutsche Welle.