Digital Bridge Institute
Prof Raymond Akwule, is currently the President of Digital Bridge Institute, International Center for Communications Studies, with campuses in Abuja, Kano and Lagos, Nigeria. He has more than 25 years teaching, research, and project planning and implementation experience in the fields of telecommunications and information technology. For most of those years he was a tenured professor at George Mason University in Fairfax Virginia, USA
He is the author of Global Telecommunications: The Technology, Administration and Policies (Butterworth-Heinemann, USA, 1992), a book that has been used as text in many major Universities in the U.S. and worldwide. He was Director of the Center for Telecommunications, Informatics and Broadcasting, in the Department of Communication, George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, USA
During the twenty-five years of his professional and teaching career he has served as an expert consultant/adviser to numerous governments, international organizations and international and national private sector companies, including the following:
· United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
· International Telecommunications Union (ITU) – Geneva, Switzerland
· World Bank – Washington, DC
· United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) – NEW YORK, ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA
· UNESCO –Paris, France
· US Agency for International Development (USAID) - USA
· US Trade and Development Agency - USA
· Several African Governments including South Africa and Nigeria
· AT&T - USA
· TELEDESIC - USA
· IRIDIUM - USA
· NITEL – Nigerian Telecommunications Ltd
· NIPOST – Nigerian Postal Services Ltd
· NCC – Nigerian Communications Commission
· Digital Bridge Institute (DBI)
The Realities and Challenges of Cyber crime and Cyber Security in Africa
The benefits of the Information Society or the knowledge economy are well known. But the new age has also ushered in the twin problems of Cyber Crime and Cyber Security. This paper will focus on the realities and challenges of cyber crime in Africa and highlights some ongoing initiatives related to cyber security on the continent.
With the exponential growth of internet, the increasing use of electronic channels for commerce, governance and relationship and the use of ICTs in all forms of utilities, the safety and resilience of these channels are increasingly becoming critical. Incidences of recent Cyber attacks and attempts to breach the security of national critical information infrastructure highlights how fragile Cyber security is and the need to safeguard vulnerable people, property and procedures.
Cyberspace rules and norms are in a permanent state of flux, and cyber insecurity presents new challenges and dangers. Increasing instances of Cyber attacks on critical information infrastructure by unknown perpetrators and growing cost to business and individuals due to Cyber fraud has heightened the need for robust Cyber security frameworks and most importantly international cooperation in minimizing the impact of Cyber threats. Indeed in matters of cyber security, the global chain of nations is only as strong as its weakest link.
The growth of the internet and mobile communications in Africa is accompanied by an increasing number of initiatives at global and national levels that are focused on fostering cyber security on the continent. For example, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) is addressing cyber security within the framework of African Information Society Initiative (AISI). It advocates coherent and coordinated continental and regional approach to cyber security, as well as enhanced consideration of the issue in national ICT and Information Society strategies and action plans. According to the UNECA, African governments are demonstrating increased awareness of cyber security issues, but existing capability to deter, monitor or pursue cyber security is relatively low. The UNECA cyber security initiative is implemented in cooperation with the African Union in order to arrive at harmonized legal framework, and especially with guidelines on: Cyber crime; Personal data protection; Electronic transactions; e-Signature / Certification; Cyber security.
This paper will highlight the need for a global effort to ensure that Africa does not emerge or remain as the weakest link in the world global cyber security chain.