Chad Taps Huawei for Digital Modernization Project

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Chad Taps Huawei for Digital Modernization Project

Chinese technology manufacturer Huawei has signed an agreement with Chad to build a national data center and technology infrastructure in the African country. The move comes amidst growing concern about China’s growing digital presence in the region.
While there is no explicit mention of any cybersecurity enablement in the agreement, the deal will see the Chad government fulfil its digital transformation ambitions as part of a National ICT Modernization Project, financed by a concessional loan from the Chinese government to Chad. This will include the construction of a 1,200 km fiber optic network crossing the country from south to east.
Over the weekend, the secretary general of the Ministry of Telecommunications and Digital Economy of Chad, Mahamat Saleh Ibrahim, and the vice president and general manager of Huawei CEMAC zone, Léo Lingyu Kong, signed a memorandum of understanding for the deal, reported We Are Tech Africa.
A statement from Huawei said the shortage of digital talent is a significant factor limiting the development of the digital economy and industrial innovation, and pointed out it has signed memorandum of understandings with 11 ICT academies and educational organizations across Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Africa to develop future digital talent in underserved markets.
Concerns about Huawei’s spying capability persist, however, as a report published recently details, citing “soft power” concerns. In particular, Huawei technology is being used in subsea cables and in smart city initiatives, which in theory could give it a birds-eye view for various kinds of surveillance, some argue.
Regarding the building of a national data center in Chad with Huawei technology, Tom Hegel, senior threat researcher at SentinelOne, said in an email that these are generally support structures for the infrastructure and services being deployed.
“The data center itself isn’t much of a unique concern, but does add to the country’s reliance and long term dominance by Chinese tech,” he says.
Copyright © 2023 Informa PLC Informa UK Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with company number 1072954 whose registered office is 5 Howick Place, London, SW1P 1WG.

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