Mbabane: The Kingdom of Eswatini has become the first African country to join the Clean Network which is a United States initiative aimed at improving digital security, including on the controversial 5G.
Eswatini joins more than 50 Clean Countries, 170 Clean Telcos and many of the global hi-tech Clean Companies on the Clean Network. Some of the countries in the Clean Network includes Czech Republic, Norway, Poland, Estonia, Romania, Denmark, Greece, New Zealand, Japan, Australia, Israel, and Latvia to name but a few that were welcomed by Under Secretary of State Krach in June 20, 2020.
This was revealed on Friday as the Acting Minister of Information, Communications and Technology Manqoba Khumalo and U.S. Under Secretary of State Keith Krach agreed on the importance of securing telecommunications infrastructure and ensuring safe technology supply chains based on internationally accepted digital trust standards. The two made this agreement during an online meeting held on Friday.
They expressed their commitment to safeguarding each country’s national security by excluding high-risk digital equipment suppliers.
Minister Khumalo stated that it is critical that the data traveling across Eswatini’s digital infrastructure is safe. He said the Clean Network provides a trusted foundation for countries and companies to ensure the security of their most sensitive information. Eswatini is proud to be a member of the Clean Network.
Under Secretary of State Krach added today (Friday) marked an important milestone as America expand the Clean Network into Africa. Eswatini’s leadership as the first African country to join the Clean Network paves the way for expanded U.S. private sector investment and strengthens the joint security of like-minded partners in the region and around the world.
Under Secretary of State Krach and Minister Khumalo further emphasized the critical importance of ensuring an Eswatini–U.S. partnership based on transparency, reciprocity, respect for sovereignty and the rule of law. These principles underpin the relationship between the two countries and will serve as a trusted guide in the vital area of digital security including 5G.
According to the official website of the United States government, the Clean Network program is the Trump Administration’s comprehensive approach to safeguarding the nation’s assets including citizens’ privacy and companies’ most sensitive information from aggressive intrusions by malign actors, such as the Chinese Communist Party.
The Clean Network addresses the long-term threat to data privacy, security, human rights and principled collaboration posed to the free world from authoritarian malign actors. The Clean Network is rooted in internationally accepted digital trust standards. It represents the execution of a multi-year, all-of-government, enduring strategy, built on a coalition of trusted partners, and based on rapidly changing technology and economics of global markets.
According to the U.S many countries are choosing to allow only trusted vendors in their 5G networks. Examples include the United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden, Estonia, Romania, Denmark, and Latvia.
Greece has agreed to use Ericsson, rather than Huawei, to develop its 5G infrastructure.
Some of the largest telecom companies around the globe are also becoming “Clean Telcos.” Orange in France, Jio in India, Telstra in Australia, SK and KT in South Korea, NTT in Japan, and O2 in the United Kingdom are rejecting doing business with tools of the Chinese Communist Party’s surveillance state, like Huawei. The big three telecommunications companies in Canada have decided to partner with Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung, because public opinion was overwhelmingly against allowing Huawei to build Canada’s 5G networks.