The technology stack, either in a company or a country, is comprised of the different technology layers that together form a digital communications ecosystem. And in places like East Africa, Chinese technology is indispensable up and down the stack — everything from the internet cables that deliver connectivity to the networks that route all of the data and, most visibly, all those Chinese-made mobile phones that are ubiquitous.
So, when the U.S. government focuses a disproportionate amount of attention on Huawei, and ZTE to some extent, they’re missing the much bigger picture where Chinese technology is pervasive throughout East Africa’s digital ecosystem.
And Chinese tech companies aren’t just playing in the hardware space, they’re also becoming increasingly active in the African app market, e-commerce and laying the ground work for emerging technologies including blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
Kioneki (Michael Kimani) is closely following all of this from Nairobi where he’s an independent blockchain advisor to companies and governments in the region. He joined Eric Oliander and Cobus van Staden on this edition of the China Africa Podcast to unpack how China has taken over the technology stack powering East Africa’s digital economy.
From minute 06:18 – 38.08