On Monday, 18 January 2021, the Members of the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), adopted the regional strategy for cybersecurity and the fight against cybercrime in the Community during the 2020 Second Ordinary Session.
In the presentation made to Parliamentarians, it is clear, that the regional strategy for cybersecurity and the fight against cybercrime aims to increase cyber-resilience in the region, help Member States strengthen their cybersecurity capacities, protect their cyberspace and their critical information infrastructures as well as build confidence and security in the use of information and communication technologies (ICT). It is also targeted at fighting cybercrime effectively.
The regional policy specifically involves improving the level of national cybersecurity and cybercrime mechanisms in Member States, which in turn aids the protection of critical infrastructure to ensure the resilience and security of essential infrastructure and services in the region.
Faced with the threats and risks induced by the development of technologies which can reduce the benefits due to digitization at the global level, it is necessary that each Member State of the Community have a robust national cybersecurity with good and necessary coordination between all the stakeholders concerned.
Based on the aforementioned, this program should make it possible to establish the Community strategic framework which must be taken into account by the Member States in national strategies and be implemented in their action plans while improving the level of national mechanisms for cybersecurity and cybercrime.
The strategy recalls, that, “the rapid digital transformation underway in West Africa is of great importance to improve, among other things, the functioning and efficiency of administrations, economies and the well-being of people”.