First Africa IGF opens with calls to tackle cyber crime
SECURITYBy BiztechAfrica - Oct. 4, 2012, 5:54 p.m.
By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya
The inaugural Africa Internet Governance Forum (AfrIGF) has called for increased partnership and collaboration to curb cyber crime and enhance online security across the continent.
The ongoing forum in Cairo, Egypt, opened on Wednesday after the successful hosting of the five regional internet governance forums or IGFs by the respective regions.
In his opening address Egypt’s ICT Minister Eng Hany Mahmoud noted that enhancing security and building confidence and trust in the use of ICT applications is one of the “most important emerging issues that are threatening the ICT sector worldwide.”
“Collaboration of regional and international efforts from all stakeholders involved is much needed. In this respect, Egypt has established its national CERT and we are ready to discuss together policy challenges and find ways for cross-border cooperation on cybersecurity. As well, openness and free flow of information should be maintained in way that preserves the stability and robustness of the global Internet,” said Eng Mahmoud.
The minister said the UN General Assembly would decide on a number of important issues such as the report of the 15th session of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development of the Economic and Social Council on Internet Governance Improvements, the Enhanced Cooperation consultations, and the WSIS Review Meeting Decision.
“We have the World Conference of International Telecommunications (WCIT) that encompasses a lot of articles pertaining to Internet Public Policy matters. Such issues require series collaboration and coordination from our side to be able to face the international community with one African voice,” he said, adding that the first African IGF is a catalyst for creating more convergence between the views coming from the five different African regions.
Moctar Yedaly, African Union Commission’s (AUC) head of Post and Telecommunication Division, ICT Policy and Development programmes, said that the “more the modern society depends on the Internet the more relevant Internet governance will be.”
The 2-day meeting, being held at Cairo’s Smart Village Convention Centre, has been organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Union Commission (AUC), government of Egypt through the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the five African sub-regional IGFs.
The five regional IGFs include the West Africa Internet Governance Forum (WAIGF), the East Africa Internet Governance Forum (EAIGF), Forum de Gouvernance de l’Internet en Afrique Centrale (FGI-CA), the Southern Africa Internet Governance Forum (SAIGF) and the North Africa Internet Governance Forum (NAIGF).
The event has drawn participants from across the continent to define Africa’s collective common position on Internet Governance and share best practices based on the results of national and sub-regional consultations. The conference was preceded by pre-conference workshops in the afternoon of 2 October 2012.
Masango Chengetai from the IGF Secretariat in Geneva stated that there are 12 regional IGFs and more than 22 national IGFs covering the globe, as well as thematic IGF initiatives such as the Youth IGF.
“It is important that Africa makes its voice heard in the global Internet Governance debate. Good Internet governance begins at home, that is at the national and regional level, where the policies are incorporated into legislation and are actually implemented. It is better to have a public comment before a law is passed then after,” said Chengetai, adding that the Africa IGF has a pivotal role in interconnecting the regional IGFs and can provide a united African perspective to the global Internet governance discussions.
Makane Faye, who read the speech on behalf of Dr Aida Opoku-Mensah, the director of UNECA’ ICT, Science and Technology Division (ISTD), said that Internet governance, as a key issue emerging from the WSIS process, is an important multi-stakeholder platform.
“The key to making Internet Governance a success at both the sub-regional and regional levels is dependent on the take up and active participation at the national level. To this end, national forums on the management of Internet resources and critical infrastructure are encouraged in countries,” said Faye.
So far, Africa has hosted 2 annual IGF meetings - with the 2009 IGF being held in Egypt while the 2011 IGF, which had the highest attendance, was held in Nairobi. The African Internet Governance Forum (AfIGF) was launched in 2011 to support and promote the consolidation of the on-going regional initiatives and reach out to continental and global stakeholders and guide in their engagement in continental, regional and national initiatives.
The seventh global IGF will take place on November 6-9, 2012, in Baku, Azerbaijan under the theme: “Internet Governance for Sustainable Human, Economic and Social Development.
“We expect that this conference will promote discussions on the African IG agenda and shape the way for Africa's participation in the next IGF, in Baku,” said Faye.
MORE SECURITY NEWS
Three layers of security: crucial for businessBusinesses today need to focus equally on physical, personnel and cyber security in order to mitigate risk in the face of growing criminal focus on enterprise data, says UK-based security expert Chris Phillips. Read More
2014 Banking and ICT summits pegged for Uganda, Zambia and EthiopiaCyber Security Africa has announced that its 2014 Banking and ICT summits will be hosted in Uganda, Zambia and Ethiopia. Read More
Security in 2014: Money and MayhemIT security stands at the frontier of a fight for wealth and information, says Andrew Kirkland, Regional Director Africa, Trustwave. Read More
McAfee delivers on Intel vision of free mobile securityMcAfee has announced details of free protection for consumers on any Android and iOS mobile device. Read More
Botswana financial institutions exposed to cyber crimeBotswana’s financial institutions face a growing risk of cyber fraud, says BIC MD Dziki Nganunu. Read More
New Android threat risesThe AndroRAT is an example of how cyber criminals can manipulate apps for their own gain, says Intact Security. Read More
Arbor Networks partners with Networks Unlimited in SSAArbor Networks has announced a new partnership with Networks Unlimited to help organisations better mitigate and defend against the growing DDoS threat to their customers’ businesses. Read More
Trend Micro’s 2013 threat roundup highlights private data profitabilityAccording to Trend Micro Incorporated’s 2013 annual threat roundup report, “security breaches, cyber criminals, and organised attacks made it nearly impossible to keep personal and financial data private. Read More
Hardcore goons use mobiles to scare, extort KenyansHardcore criminals in prison are reported to be using mobile phones to extort money and scare Kenyan civilians. Read More
FEATURED STORYMACRA demystifies spectrum management
Malawi's regulator explains the issues around spectrum allocation. Gregory Gondwe reports.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHYouthConnekt launches Mobile Apps for Human Development Challenge in Rwanda
Rwanda’s Ministry of Youth and ICT and the UNDP, in close collaboration with Motorola Solutions, will power a Mobile App Challenge that will be implemented by YouthConnekt.