By Kato Mivule
China once again is at the helms of I.T infrastructure development in Africa. According to news reports, Uganda’s Legislative Body approved US $75 Million loan borrowed from China to install the second and third phases of Uganda’s Fiber Optic Data Transmission Backbone.
Uganda’s parliament has approved a US$75 million loan for the second and third phases of the country’s national data transmission backbone, ICT Minister Ham Mulira announced. In addition, a fourth phase has been added to the project in order to connect the war-torn region of Northern Uganda, which was not included in the original broadband infrastructure plans, Mulira said…China’s Huawei Technologies is executing the job, while China Exim Bank is funding the project with a $106 million loan. The Ugandan government has provided an additional $5 million for the project.
Uganda legislators approve US$75 million for data backbone
China is definitely increasing her foreign policy muscle economically in Africa while other Western Nations tend to lay focus on Human Rights and Democracy. China’s investments in the area of Technology are increasing in Africa yet Western Nations have largely been reluctant to invest in the continent.
In years to come China might have a more powerful say in the affairs of Africa than the West. However, this will not advance the causes of “democracy” and “freedom” as the West defines it.
Rather, China will advance its own form of ‘rule’ which is very favorable with many dictators across the continent of Africa, that is, China places a strong hand against dissent and largely controls the flow of information. There is no better gift than to have a dictator gag freedom of expression and control flow of information. This is what should scare the heck out of any Ugandan…
What will be the implications to Freedom of Speech, Dissent, Democracy, Freedom of Worship etc when China controls the National Data Transmission Backbone of Uganda? Will China not at one time seek to move in troops to protect her investments?