.AIGF urges harmonisation of Africa’s cyber security laws
Digital financial inclusion index has risen to about 70 per cent from previous one per cent penetration in the country, according to the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta.
Meanwhile, the Africa Internet Governance Forum (AIGF) has called for harmonisation of cyber security laws on the continent for a common front against the menace and its accompanying threats.
Speaking at the AIGF 2023 event yesterday in Abuja, Danbatta pointed out that the financial inclusion strategy of the government is currently telecommunications-driven, adding that the idea behind leveraging the industry to drive the process was informed by the pervasive nature of telecoms infrastructure.
Stating that with the perfection of the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) by the regulator, Nigerians no longer crowd banking halls for financial transactions.
He admitted that the commission still needs to raise the bar in the areas of inclusion, security of cyberspace and innovation.
On efforts being made by the country to secure the cyberspace, Danbatta stated that in addition to the Nigerian Computer Emergency Response Team, domiciled in the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) to secure the ecosystem, the NCC also has the Nigerian Computer Incident Response Team, which provides advisory on a daily basis on how telecommunications companies could protect themselves from malicious attacks.
In her remarks, chairperson of the AIGF, Lillian Nalwoga, urged African nations to sign the African Union Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection.
clarified that the framework was meant to provide general rules and principles on three broad themes: personal data protection, electronic commerce, as well as cybersecurity and cybercrime on the continent.
She warned that without harmonisation of cybersecurity laws, it would be difficult to address the problem at the regional level.
Her words: “In Africa, we have a cybersecurity convention, and we need countries to assent to that because without the harmonisation, it will be difficult to address cyber crime at the regional level. We need countries that have not ratified the convention to do so, and urged countries that are lagging behind in terms of coming up with the right cybersecurity laws to do something, and also adopt data protection and privacy laws.”
On his part, Secretary General of the AIGF and a Member of Parliament in Ghana, Samuel Nartey Gorge, lamented that it took eight years before the Malabo Convention on Cybersecurity could come into force, adding that Nigeria, which is a big player on the continent is yet to ratify the protocol.