GISEC 2022: Pantami Tasks African Governments On Actionable Strategies To Support Continent’s Cybersecurity
TECHDIGEST – Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has tasked African governments on need to implement actionable policies and strategies that support a continent-wide cybersecurity.
Professor Pantami made the call Wednesday in Dubai while delivering the opening address at the Global Africa Forum of the Gulf Information Security Expo and Conference (GISEC), holding at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), UAE.
In his detailed presentation, the minister who quoted copiously from his book; Cybersecurity Initiatives For Securing A Country, stressed the need for a deliberate and inclusive plan centred around developing a National Digital Economy Policy (NDEP) to serve as the overarching policy for issues relating to cybersecurity.
An NDEP will guide in conducting a baseline study to identify the main cyber threats and the key elements of the cybersecurity ecosystem and developing a national cybersecurity policy or law., the minister added.
He also talked about enhancing and protecting critical ICT national infrastructure, capacity building, establishing a national cybersecurity centre to include a shield to scan and provide a safety score for government and critical websites, and the enhancement of data protection and privacy, among others.
Pantami further harped on the importance of digital identity as an enabler for cybersecurity.
His words: “the international community through the agreement of target 16.9 of the Sustainable Development Goals, calls for all UN member states to provide legal identity for all including birth registration by the year 2030. This is in recognition of the role of digital identity systems in supporting multiple development goals”.
The Nigerian minister, who oversees the largest digital economy in Africa, illustrated the strategies to a secure continental cyberspace using Nigeria as an example as most of the strategies outlined have already been adopted or are in full effect in the country.
A Professor of Cybersecurity with the Federal University of Technology Owerri, (FUTO), Pantami also discussed the importance of the government-industry-academia triple helix model for promoting cybersecurity in Africa.
In attendance were, Chief Legal Adviser, Ministry of National Security Ghana, Osai Bonsu; Chief Cybersecurity Officer, South Africa, DicksonIshaaq Jacobs; Director General, Nigeria’s Information Technology and Development Agency (NITDA), Kashif Inuwa Abdullahi; Director General, Nigeria Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Abdulaziz Aliyu; and other cybersecurity experts from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.