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South Africa, Kenya back Huawei

Kenya, South Africa back Huawei

Kenya's Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communications Joseph Mucheru has described Chinese multinational ICT and telecommunications firm Huawei as a scapegoat in the US-China trade war, which he said has more political than technological overtones.

"Our policies are not dictated by US policies in technology. We choose what is best for us. We will not be tied to what other people say, but we will make sure our citizens get their monies'  worth," said Mucheru.

Adam Lane, Huawei's chief public affairs director in Kenya, said the US government's restrictions will not affect the company's business in Africa.

"We will continue to work with suppliers around the world and diversify our supply chain to prepare for all scenarios," Lane said.

Meanwhile South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, through his spokesperson Khusela Diko, also pledged the government's support.

"Huawei provides a strong backbone to our telecommunication sector and is the frontrunner in 5G network," said Diko. "The advancements made in that sector are largely because of the investment Huawei made in South Africa.

"The president expressed his concern at any efforts to curtail the efforts of Huawei to deliver a comprehensive, and what we believe to be an advanced solution in the telecommunication space."

Ramaphosa's pronouncement was in response to a request by the country's leading telecoms operators asking him to support Huawei.

This was conveyed in a joint letter signed by the chief executive officers of Cell C, MTN, Vodacom and Telkom seeking the South African government's assistance in dealing with the consequences of President Donald Trump's executive order on Huawei.

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