Africa Embraces Huawei Tech Despite Security Concerns

Technology giant Huawei makes up 70% of 4G networks across the continent, despite concerns over privacy and security issues.

The Chinese technology company is currently facing legal obstacles in the UK and EU, with Huawei parts unable to be used in technical infrastructure. In Lithuania, the government even appealed to citizens to give up their Huawei smartphones.

However in Africa the sue of Huawei is widespread. Many areas are upgrading to 5G technology, with Huawei leading the uptake. For example, in Nigeria’s economic capital Lagos, the first 5G masts are already set to enter service.

Gbenga Adebayo, the leader of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), says Huawei’s devices come with many advantages. In a recent interview, he said: “Traditionally, they come with low prices. They come with terms that are very attractive to operators, and it’s easy for people to work with them.”

However, there are still concerns surrounding Huawei and security are well placed. Arthur Gwagwa, the Ethics Institute at Utrecht University, explained the complexities of this technology: “Not only does Huawei have the capabilities of stealing military information or sensitive information relating to the security of the country, but it also has equipment that is manufactured, sometimes I think negligently, that allows vulnerabilities for cyber-attacks for military and industrial espionage.”

He added that some governments were guilty of naivety: “The issue of digital foreign interference is a new phenomenon that many Africans, especially the leadership, don’t really understand because the digital sphere is something that is not tangible.”

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