Deputy Minister of Communications and Digitalization, Ms. Ama Pomaa Boateng, said cybersecurity plays a crucial role in accelerating Africa’s economic growth and development.
She therefore urged cyberecosystem players to leverage emerging technologies through cybersecurity for the socio-economic benefit of all Africans.
The three-day event is attended by 65 participants from 31 African countries.
It is on the theme: “Setting the Stage for the State of Cybersecurity in Africa”.
Ms. Boateng said that according to a Council on Foreign Relations publication, in June 2019, Africa had over 500 million internet users, putting the region ahead of other regions such as North America, South America South and the Middle East.
She said the e-Conomy Africa 2020 report also revealed that Africa’s internet economy has the potential to reach $180 billion by 2025, which represents 5.2% of gross domestic product ( GDP) of the continent.
The Deputy Minister said that safety and security were essential requirements to maintain the gains made in internet connectivity and digitization.
She said reports further indicated that cybercrime had reduced the GDP of African countries by more than 10%, an estimated $4.12 billion in 2021 – a very worrying development.
Ms. Boateng said the 46th Communication, Information and Internet Policy Research Conference 2018 reported that out of a population of approximately 1.24 billion people in Africa, the estimated number of cybersecurity certified in 2018 was 7,000, or one for every 177,000 people.
She said this meant that Africa lacked the talent and resources to deal with cybersecurity threats and development challenges.
The Deputy Minister commended the participants for their commitments so far and urged them to strengthen the cybersecurity landscape in Africa through collaboration and capacity building.
“As you continue your deliberations today, I have urged you to open up, sharing ideas and information on the situation in your countries, what is being done and how we can work together to support the development of cybersecurity. on the continent,” she said.
“Ladies and gentlemen, collaboration with diverse actors in the global cybersecurity ecosystem is crucial and there is no doubt that diverse perspectives, expertise and datasets can help model effective policies and operational responses to cybercrimes. on the continent,” she said.