Five African countries spend over $1 billion a year on surveillance


Despite under-funding basic services such as health care and education, governments in Nigeria, Ghana, Morococo, Malawi, and Zambia collectively spend over $1 billion a year on digital surveillance technologies supplied by companies in the US, UK, China, the EU, and Israel. Nigeria alone spends $12 per citizen annually. The African states, each of which has its own distinct surveillance profile, also use their surveillance technology to spy on, harass, and arrest opposition politicians, journalists, and peaceful activists. A new report that studies over 2,400 records of procurement contracts for these five countries finds chilling effects on democracy and long-term psychological and physical harm to the individuals who were unjustly targeted. Similar research in Egypt, Ethiopia, Algeria, and Tunisia had to be discontinued due to security risks for the researchers. 

Publication: The Conversation
Writer: Tony Roberts

See more examples