We have no challenges with Huawei – Ursula Owusu

Ghana will continue to work with Huawei in the deployment of latest technology to aid the country’s development, since nothing suspicious has been identified or seen as alleged by other countries, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful – Minister of Communications, has said.

“We have had extensive conversations with Huawei about what is happening in other parts of the world, but we do not have evidence of any such activity in this country; however, we will continue to engage with them and know that they have been trusted partners so far.

“They will continue to be that trusted partner into the future, but we will work with them to ensure that whatever systems they put in place will accrue to the Ghanaian people’s benefit,” she said in reaction to a question about whether her ministry or any company dealing with Huawei has found any challenge when it comes to theft of sensitive information.

The U.S. government — like the Chinese and others — is wary of employing foreign technology for vital communications, for fear that the equipment’s manufacturers could leave a back-door that allows their home-country intelligence agencies to access information; or that the companies themselves could hand over sensitive data.

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Australia joined the USA in effectively barring Huawei from new ultra-fast networks such as 5G, while a number of other countries, including in Europe, are in extensive discussions with the company.

But Huawei, the world’s biggest producer of telecoms equipment, has denied that its equipment presents a security risk – with the founder and CEO of Huawei, Ren Zhengfei, adding that there is “no way the US can crush the company” in an exclusive interview with the BBC.

Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful stressed that she has no information that Huawei is doing anything untoward with the installations that they have put in place, adding that Huawei is the leading telecommunications equipment manufacturer, supplier and installer in the world, and about 80-90 percent of all telecoms companies globally use some component of Huawei’s products in their operations.

“If they are indulging in any such negative activities, then all of us are at risk globally; and I would hate to think they would jeopardise a very profitable business venture in this manner. There are several European countries and companies which have come out to indicate they do not have any information or evidence to suggest that Huawei is doing anything wrong in their operations,” she said.

Already, countries such as Italy, Spain, Portugal, Slovakia and the Philippines have stressed that they will continue to do business with Huawei, while telecoms companies in countries such as the United Kingdom, Ireland and Switzerland have come out to state they see no evidence of Huawei as a security threat – with the UK’s security chiefs insisting that if there is any threat, it can be managed.

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“We have a unique oversight and understanding of Huawei engineering and cybersecurity,” said a statement from the National Cyber Security Centre, which is a part of the intelligence agency GCHQ.

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