by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
NAIROBI – RAMPANT acts of terror in Kenya and major crimes committed in other African cities are set to be a thing of the past following the deployment of state-of-the-art technology in the East African country.
Huawei Technologies, the Chinese-headquartered multinational networking and telecommunications company with a footprint in Kenya, has rolled out its first security solutions in Kisumu, Mombasa and the capital Nairobi.
The “Safe City” initiative, as the name implies, is envisaged to address such challenges as insurgency as well as the violation of traffic rules and regulations and other crimes prevalent in major cities.
Huawei Technologies Enterprise Business Group Vice President (responsible for government and public utility sector), Edwin Diender, says such solutions will subsequently enhance Kenya’s economy, particularly by tackling the challenges hindering the growth of the tourism industry, long the backbone of East Africa’s biggest economy.
The Islamic militant Al-Shabaab has over the years carried out terror attacks in Kenya, much to the hindrance of tourism fulfilling its potential.
“From an economic point of view, Huawei solutions are boosting Kenya’s tourism industry by providing security,” said Diender in an interview with CAJ News in Nairobi at the Huawei Africa Summit.
“”Recently, the United States President Barak Obama came to Nairobi and went without any security breaches,” he added.
“Similarly, the Roman Catholic’s Pope Francis also visited without any security incidents.”
There had been tragic incidents before including the terror attack at the upmarket Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi where unidentified gunmen killed at least 76 people and wounded more than 175 others.
Al-Shabaab extremists claimed responsibility for the incident as retribution for Kenya’s military deployment in the group’s home country of Somalia.
It is envisaged the Safe City initiative will halt such acts.
“This relies on broadband but have successfully migrated from 3G to 4G, sharing High Definition (HD) videos to shape the industry, ” Diender said.
The solutions are anchored on HD cameras with the ability to track would-be criminal suspects in cities before providing content managed system.
It enhances mobile policing.
In instances where there is no street lighting, the cameras always rely on flash technology to enable monitoring.
The technology by Huawei also boasts Visualised Long Term Evolution (V-LTE) Broadband Trunking with more than 200-metre range video, deployed in streets, malls and factories to counter crime.
The deployment is then linked to the central command where all activities will be monitored.
Some solutions offer video cloud based intelligent analysis with video surveillance boasting capacity to capture and enable face recognition.
There is also intelligence led policing through big data.
“GPS (Global Positioning System) is there to locate, collect data and receive such useful information. The most important thing is that information gets there right on time,” said Diender.
The Huawei executive says the company has the latest offering in technology to play a part in addressing insecurity issues.
“We provide cloud solution – put it in a single platform, then deploy it.”
He says the Safe Cities offering will be expanded from security to address health challenges in the country.
Addressing journalists at a different platform, Huawei Chief Executive Officer for Kenya, Dean Yu, said previously criminals were not deterred from committing offences aware it would be difficult to capture them.
“Before we deployed our solutions, criminals (people) were not scared committing any crime in the cities,” said Yu.
“After our deployment, those wanting to commit crime fear doing so because they will be captured by our system. Most importantly, when tried in any court of law, there will be overwhelming evidence to nail them of their offences.”
Rose Moyo, Rose Moyo, Huawei Technologies Wireless Director for South Africa, also speaking in Nairobi, disclosed following its successful rollout in Kenya, the Safe Cities project will later be introduced in South Africa.
It will be rolled out in the major cities of Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg.
– CAJ News