Analysis: The Rise of Chinese Surveillance Technology in Africa (Part 4 of 6)

August 25, 2022 | Bulelani Jili, EPIC Scholar-in-Residence

The spread of smart cities is a key area facilitating the spread of Chinese surveillance technology globally. Simply put, the smart city is a computational model of urban planning that purports to optimize operational efficacy and promote economic activity by utilizing Information and Communication Technology (ICT).  In 2018, the Kenyatta administration in Kenya announced the launch of the National Broadband Strategy, which was designed to advance access to broadband, but also serve as a foundational policy framework to implement smart city technology.

Chinese firms like Huawei were employed by the state to support the establishment and application of smart city systems and auxiliary technologies like cloud computing and AI surveillance. Envisioned as a fungible model across political contexts, the smart city is promoted as an ideal city, which can catalyze development and rapid growth. The model includes digital infrastructure that consists of surveillance and governance technologies as the means to guarantee security and growth.

While smart cities purportedly help officials to design away political problems, they come with their own challenges.

Read more here.

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