ECOWAS strengthens capacity of Cybercrime First Responders

Mr Sediko Douka, ECOWAS Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy and Digitalisation, has underscored the significance of a coordinated and collaborative approach toward a more secure ECOWAS cyberspace.

He highlighted the need for experts to share their national perspectives and experiences as this was an opportunity to build bridges and lay the foundation for cooperation in future partnerships.

Mr Douka stated in a statement read on his behalf at an E-Evidence and First Responders Training of Trainers workshop in Praia, Cabo Verde organised by the ECOWAS Commission within the framework of the Organised Crime, which was on the theme: “West African Response on Cybersecurity and fight against Cybercrime” (OCWAR-C).

The one-week training programme was to strengthen the capacity of representatives from law enforcement entities from Cabo Verde, The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.

The OCWAR-C project is funded by the European Union and the objectives are to improve the resilience and robustness of information infrastructure in the Member States; increase the capacities of relevant stakeholders of Member States in charge of the fight against cybercrime.

The forum was organised in collaboration with the Council of Europe and the INTERPOL document made available to the Ghana News Agency indicated.

Mr Douka emphasised the building of human capacities in a consistent and harmonised manner across the region.

Mr Ignacio Sobrino Castello, the EU Deputy Head of Delegation to Cabo Verde, recalled the objectives of the OCWAR-C project, which was to support the strengthening of the cyberspace of the beneficiary countries and capacities in the fight against cybercrime.

Speaking on the ongoing developments of the EU in Cabo Verde on cybersecurity and on combatting cyber-crime and Digital Economy in general, Mr Casrello emphasised the need for enhancing cooperation between the ECOWAS Member States and the ECOWAS commission and international partners.

He said the reliance on information communication technology was more pervasive in society with the increased use of personal devices across the region.

He said this had necessitated the need for law enforcement entities to develop the required capacities to ensure efficient investigation and handling of digital evidence is carried out to appropriate standards.

On behalf of the Secretary of State for Digital Economy of Cabo Verde, Mr Joel Almeida, Advisor to the secretary, welcomed participants to Cabo Verde and reaffirmed Cabo Verde’s commitment to playing its part in the region’s cyber ecosystem.

He indicated that Cabo Verde’s national cybersecurity strategy contains concrete implementation actions that were in line with the ECOWAS Regional Cyber strategy adopted in 2021.

Mr Almeida also stated that the national cybersecurity centre and CSIRT-CV were underway.

He also classified the forthcoming first ECOWAS Regional Hackerlab Challenge scheduled from October 10 to 12, 2022 as a great opportunity to bring the community together to spark interest in the ongoing challenges of keeping our region cyber secure and as means of finding young talents who are ready to be next generation of the skilful cybersecurity workforce.

Prior to the in-person training workshop, which consisted of mentoring and understanding the contents and principles of e-evidence collection for first responders, participants partook in a three-week small private online course to equip them with the knowledge and skills to design and evaluate learner-centred training following the INTERPOL training standards.

Source: GNA

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