ECOWAS to strengthen fight against cybercrimes


The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission has taken steps to improve official and informal coordination between cybercrime units to combat cybercrime in West Africa.

The purpose of the Commission is to aid member governments in developing cybercrime-fighting and digital-evidence-handling infrastructure.

So, from November 23rd to 25th, 2022, cybercrime state representatives gathered in Dakar, Senegal, through the initiative “Organised Crime: West African Response on Cybersecurity and fight against Cybercrime (OCWAR-C)”.

Mrs Rabiyatou Bah Ly, the coordinator of the OCWAR-C project, reaffirmed the significance of the initiative in the region and highlighted the progress made thanks to the collaboration between the ECOWAS Commission’s Directorate of Digital Economy & Post and the national focal points.

She said this gathering of cybercrime unit chiefs aims to facilitate communication among agencies and promote teamwork in the region’s battle against the growing threat posed by cybercrime.

On behalf of the ECOWAS Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy, and Digitalisation, Dr Kouame Raphael Koffi, Director of Digital Economy and Post, spoke about the region’s need to speed up its digital transformation efforts across all socio-economic sectors to meet the rising expectations of its citizens.

He gave examples to show how cyber threats and attacks have grown in number and sophistication as the internet has become more widely available to more people.

He reaffirmed the importance of identifying avenues for regional cooperation and figuring out how to enhance it through sharing data and harmonising systems and tools in the fight against cybercrime. At the end of his speech, he reaffirmed the Commission’s dedication to building and maintaining the capacities of units responsible for cybercrimes.

The Technical Advisor for Cybersecurity, Mr Cheikh Fall, on behalf of the Ministry of Communication, Telecommunications, and the Digital Economy, welcomed everyone and thanked them for coming to Senegal for the 2nd edition of the heads of cybercrime units.

He explained that the National Cybersecurity Strategy “SNC2022′′ for trusted cyberspace is where the genuine desire of Senegal is shown through the implementation of the OCWAR-C Project. Building cybersecurity technological knowledge and capacities across all industries were highlighted as this summit’s parallel objective.

He concluded that the meeting’s outcomes would increase the commitment to fortifying the region’s cyber resilience.

Standard operating procedure (SOP) and information safety policy (ISP) draft guidelines were improved at the end of the meeting and will be circulated throughout the area.

Objectives of the European Union-funded and Expertise France-implemented OCWAR-C project include bolstering the ability of relevant stakeholders in Member States to combat cybercrime and enhancing the security of information infrastructure in those countries.

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