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China’s Role in East Africa’s Technology Stack

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. 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 joins Eric & Cobus to share his insights on the latest Chinese tech trends in East Africa and why he thinks companies like Huawei are well-positioned in the market.

Show Notes:

About Michael Kimani:

Michael Kimani is an experienced market builder of Fintech, blockchain, and digital currency products in Africa, spanning seven years, working on five blockchain, five fintech, and five cryptocurrency projects, across six African countries. He has worked on public sector projects with governments in Africa, multinational corporations such as Visa, up and coming startups like Zippie, and non-profit network organizations such as the Blockchain Association of Kenya.

You can find him on linkedin, his curated thoughts on twitter @pesa_africa and collection of essays at kioneki.

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