Paul Kagame, the African Union’s new Chairperson, has brushed down claims that China hacked into the African Union’s headquarters in Addis Ababa and has been eavesdropping on its activities since 2012.
If Africa did not want to be spied on, Kagame believes it should have built the facility. He also stated that the AU is unconcerned about being spied on because everyone must be aware of all activities at the $200 million facilities built as a gift to Africa by the Chinese government.
“I’m not concerned about being watched at AU headquarters. We don’t do anything here that we don’t want people to know about. There are spies all across the world, not only in China. The only problem is that Africa should have been able to construct the headquarters itself,” he remarked during a joint press conference with AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat and the AU Information and Communication Secretary on Monday.
“I would be glad if we had money to create this mansion,” Kagame continued, “but even if you bring people to build for you, they may still spy on you.” Kagame was also concerned that others could try to “cast the Chinese who built the house in a terrible light.”
Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, stated he has never observed a problem in the building where he works on a regular basis.
China denied spying on the African Union headquarters, calling the allegations “absurd” and “preposterous.”
Kuang Weilin, the Chinese ambassador to the African Union, told the media in Addis Ababa on Monday that the assertions were “extremely difficult to grasp” and that they were completely false.
Last Saturday, the French newspaper Le Monde Afrique released a report stating that data from AU servers in Ethiopia had been transmitted to servers in Shanghai at strange hours for the past five years.
According to anonymous sources, the finding in January 2017 led to the replacement of servers, while security experts from Algeria who inspected the entire facility discovered microphones installed in workstations.