The Africa Internet Governance Forum, of the Africa Union has identified cybercrime as a main threat to the implementation of the regional body’s digital transformation strategy.
This disclosure which is contained in a communique issued at the end of the Africa Internet Governance forum held in Abuja Thursday evening, further stressed the need for African countries to quickly rectify the AU Cybercrime Convention, referred to as Malabo Convention 2015, for the establishment of the proposed Africa Center for Cybersecurity to be based in Congo to fight cyber fraud in Africa and make the cyberspace safer for Africans. The center will ensure the harmonization of all efforts to address cyber-crimes at a regional level.
Forum’s this year’s meeting which was hosted by the Nigeria Communication Commission, noted that millions of Africans have been swindled through cyber frauds within the continent due to inadequate government investments in technology to fight cybercrime activities, lack of international cooperation, and capacity building for lawmakers and law enforcement agencies.
The forum advised African governments to create an enabling environment for the digital economy to become pervasive and thrive across the region by reducing taxation on connectivity.
The African Internet Governance Forum was established by the AU during its Council of Ministers of ICT meeting in Nairobi in 2011 to improve digital infrastructure, close the digital divide, and foster resilience and cyberspace security across the African continent. The recent call for swift action to counter the growing threat of cybercrime underscores the urgency with which African nations must address this critical issue to ensure the region’s digital transformation can proceed unhindered.
As Africa strives to harness the full potential of its digital landscape, addressing cybercrime is imperative to protect citizens, foster economic growth, and promote regional stability in an increasingly interconnected world.