Kenya won’t cede to US pressure to ban Huawei from taking part in its fifth-generation network, 5G. Speaking about the issue, Joe Mucheru, the Cabinet Secretary for ICT told Business Daily that the country won’t stop Huawei from being involved in building 5G.
He said, “I have not seen any letter or document about stopping the project and we cannot stop even if we are asked to do so. We are an independent country.”
Joe Mucheru further insisted that the government doesn’t deal with vendors. It’s the service providers who will decide who to work with.
In other words; that’s not our concern.
The US has raised security concerns about Huawei telecom equipment and urged its allies to ban the world’s largest telecom supplier. Washington has insisted that the company could be used by the Chinese government for espionage. Allegations Huawei has continuously denied.
Washington’s main concern has been China’s laws which mandate local companies to collaborate with the government when needed.
Kenya’s biggest telecoms operator Safaricom will unveil its 5G network this year as promised earlier in February. Safaricom said it will use Huawei in the construction of its 5G network.
“We will use Huawei in 5G,” said the telco’s acting CEO at the time, Michael Joseph, now the Board Chairman of Safaricom PLC.
There’s no solid launch date yet for Safaricom’s 5G network. Earlier this year, Michael Joseph said in an interview that they “will choose the right time to officially launch later this year.”
Huawei and Safaricom have had close ties for a very long time and is one of the company’s vendors for equipment, along with Nokia.
The US-China tensions have escalated recently, with Washington intensifying scrutiny. The escalated fight has been fueled by China’s handling of the coronavirus, and new laws imposed on HongKong by Beijing.