On the black continent, the damage resulting from computer network attacks is estimated at nearly 4 billion dollars in the first half of the year under review, said Etienne Liu, president of Huawei West Africa.
From May 9 to 10, the Ivorian capital hosted the Cyber Africa Forum. During this continental meeting, discussions focused on cyberattacks through a panel entitled “Securing critical infrastructure and operators of vital importance, key to digital sovereignty?”
“Between January and June 2020, Africa was the target of 28 million cyberattacks that incurred a total cost of nearly $ 4 billion (2483 billion CFA francs),” said Liu.
Faced with the growing threat, the Chinese telecom group, like all major critical infrastructure providers, “very early became aware of these new risks,” he added.
That has made Huawei a company that places a premium on product security. “Throughout the planning, design, development, verification and launch of the product, we take care to include extremely high-quality requirements for cybersecurity,” reassured the Huawei West Africa boss.
In its policy, the Chinese multinational puts people at the center of all its attention. Because “developing technologies only makes sense if people accompany them, master them and manage them,” explained Etienne Liu.
According to him, quality human capital is therefore a major issue, hence the need to “train tomorrow’s talents in information and communication technologies” in order to achieve digital sovereignty through local skills.
“The education policy is thus at the heart of our group’s ambition on the continent and in the world. In this regard, we have developed several initiatives such as Huawei ICT Academy, Huawei ICT Competition and the Seeds for the future Program,” Liu said.
Huawei provides “proven technologies” to governments and companies that have mastered them. The Chinese group supports African countries in the establishment of data centers and the provision of cloud services based on secure infrastructure to ensure data privacy.
These solutions are, in the eyes of the president of Huawei West Africa, the pillars of digital transformation. The theme of the 2nd edition of the Cyber Africa Forum is “Digital Sovereignty and Data Protection, Levers of Economic Growth for the African Continent.”
The majority of data in African countries is hosted in storage centers abroad. Yet, in this continent, the use of new technologies is growing rapidly among the younger generations, more than half of which will be under 25 years old by 2050 according to United Nations projections.
Huawei’s ambition is to help Africa fully exploit its potential in the digital sector. In any case, the Ivorian Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Amadou Coulibaly, appreciated the technological support of the Chinese group to the State of Cote d’Ivoire.