Draft African Union Convention on Cyber-security comes to its final stage

ECA Press Release 140/2012

Addis Ababa, 31 August 2012 (ECA) -  Over 25 legal and ICTs experts gather for two days in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to discuss the draft African Union Convention on Cyber-security.

Having gone through a rigorous review in a series of sub-regional meetings in the last one year, the convention has come to its final stage during the meeting which took place on 30 to 31 August 2012. The convention covers four main areas, namely, e-transaction, cyber-security, personal data protection and combating cyber-crime.

Opening the workshop, Ms Aida Opoku-Mensah, Director of ICT, Science & Technology Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa explained that ECA and the African Union Commission were given a mandate by the Ministers in charge of ICTs in November 2009 and under the Oliver Tambo declaration to draft a convention on cyber legislation based on the Continent’s needs and which adheres to the legal and regulatory requirements on electronic transactions, cyber security, and personal data protection.

“In order to expand the opportunities and horizons offered by ICTs in Africa, there is a need to put the necessary legal and regulatory environment in place; Hence, developing this convention has become necessary to enhance the growing digital economy in Africa”, Ms Opoku-Mensah noted.

Mr Moctar Yedaly, Head of the Information Society Division at the African Union Commission, on his part, expressed his satisfaction that the process to develop a convention on cyber security by 2012 is on schedule hoping that the final version of the convention will be presented for approval by end of the year.

The outcome of this meeting will be tabled during the Experts meeting and the Conference of Ministers in charge of ICTs which will be held on the first week of September 2012 in Khartoum, Sudan.

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© 2012 Economic Commission for Africa