Huawei and Nigerian Telecommunications

ElyaDatabase ID Number: M186

Creator: Jiayu Zhang ’22 Business and History

Nigeria has the second largest economy and the largest population in Africa. Telecommunication is one of the fastest growing industries in Nigeria, contributing to 10 percent of Nigeria’s GDP in Q1 2020. Despite its bright potential, the telecommunication industry in Nigeria is not without its challenges. The lack of stable electricity, insecurity, and outdated technologies threaten to slow down the growth. The coverage of telecom services is limited to relatively more densely populated and wealthier areas. Armed conflicts also scare off service providers from constructing cell towers in fear of vandalization and theft except for major cities. The result is that rural areas remain underserviced compared to urban areas. Chinese tech companies have played a major role in helping Nigeria develop its telecommunication industry.

Huawei, in particular, has been the most active company of the lot. MTN, the largest telecommunication service provider in Nigeria, generates more than half of its revenue through Huawei’s equipment. Huawei worked with MTN to solve Nigeria’s rural problem. Huawei designed a cell tower specifically designed for rural areas with solar panels for self-sustained power and simple construction for low cost installation. Moreover, Huawei engages beyond business— Huawei announced its first training center in Abuja as early as 2004, just 4 years after it first entered Nigeria. In 2016 Huawei announced its second training center in conjunction with the University of Lagos. This training center not only provides education for soon-to-be professionals but also acts as an experience center for the general public.

Although there are even more things going on in the region in regards to these sectors than is shown on the map, the map is meant to demonstrate the give and take nature between China and the DRC in these sectors (as essentially China provides funding, large and able corporations, and assistance with infrastructure projects while the DRC provides the resources they have available to take advantage of [that they would not be able to otherwise without funding]).

Note: We take the term “substantial” here to mean an investment over the amount of $10 million.

Cite This Work :

Jiayu Zhang, “Huawei and Nigerian Telecommunications.” Scale: 1:20,000,000. In Elya J. Zhang, ed., Mapping History Series. <> (accessed May 27, 2022).

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