It seems we are on a deal-striking streak. As recently as the 4th of November, Finance Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube met with Japan’s Ambassador Toshiyuki Iwado and also announced that Japan is financing a cyber-security project within the country.
Not much else has been disclosed about this deal but what we do know is that this deal has been on the table for a long time and back in December Ambassador Iwado spoke about the potential deal:
The country’s direct message to us is just of welcome. As ambassador, I will try my best to promote co-operation in different fields and in this particular case, in ICT. We exchanged some views on how we can promote cyber security and the safety of the people in this country and we were impressed by the response we got. There are still 20 000 tourists coming to Zimbabwe each year, so it’s about security for the people of this country and Japanese tourists, but on tourists generally.
The only problem has been the lack of information surrounding this deal. It’s not yet clear what exactly this deal will end up entailing but what is certain is that the focus lies with cybersecurity in relation to tourism. Judging from the Ambassador’s statements last year, it seems that the reason why Japan was doing this was to look out for Japanese tourists but the technology may end up benefiting the whole tourism sector.
Over the past few years, Japan has been said to be bolstering their Cyber Defences as their rivalry with China has been intensifying. I run the risk of entering the realm of conspiracy theories here but maybe Japan wants to protect its citizens who want to come to Zimbabwe. Remember a lot of the telecommunications infrastructure in Zim is being set up by Chinese companies and because that’s the case Japan would like to avoid espionage.
This is a bit far-fetched and because we don’t know what exactly this partnership will entail it’s hard to know why exactly Japan and Zimbabwe have gone into a cybersecurity partnership.