Africa called to strengthen cyber security at UN treaty meeting

African diplomats are due to meet their global counterparts in New York to thrash out the details of a proposed new United Nations treaty to tackle cybercrime.

The treaty on January 17th will highlight the strengths and weaknesses of Existing treaties such as the Budapest Convention or the African Union (AU) Convention on Cybercrime and Personal Data Protection (the Malabo Convention).

The New York meeting is also expected to be an example of the growing influence of cyber diplomacy and working collaboratively between nations. It features many nations that will focus on finding resolutions for cyber governance, resilience, capacity and responses. The core of such engagements also spotlights how nations balance freedom of information, privacy and security in the rapidly evolving digital world.

The African delegates are expected to take the opportunity to highlight growing digital threats and determine how to define, investigate and prosecute cybersecurity not least in their own countries but globally.

Africa’s more digitally advanced states, including Kenya, South Africa, Mauritius, Nigeria, Ghana, Morocco, Egypt and Rwanda, will have the opportunity to speak out on what must be prioritised in cyber security.

An upcoming Institute for Security Studies (ISS) report is expected to call for Africa to step up and be the lead in forthcoming discussions on security and preventing cyber crime. explains why Africa cannot afford to take a back seat in such diplomatic discussions. The continent reportedly lags behind many other parts of the world when it comes to current digital ‘capacity’.

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