The Cape Verde Government announced on Monday the need for a “strong partnership” and “international cooperation” for greater cybersecurity in order to combat cybercrime, which it considers to be one of the biggest threats to businesses currently existing
The requests were made by the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Olavo Correia, and by the president of the Multi-sector Economic Regulatory Agency (ARME), Isaías Barreto da Rosa, at the opening of a workshop, held in the city of Praia, with a view to implementing a Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT).
“We live in a world without limits or borders, this is even more valid for the information and communication technologies. Therefore, the fight against cybercrime has to be a regional and global fight, built and carried out within the framework of a strong partnership with all national players,” said the Deputy Prime Minister.
The initiative is organised by ARME and the West African Response Team on Cybersecurity and the Fight against Cybercrime (OCWAR-C) and results from a project implemented by the French International Technical Cooperation Agency – Expertise France, funded by the European Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
According to the Cape Verdean minister of Business Development and Digital Economy, the act represents, therefore, a moment of partnership between Cape Verde, ECOWAS and the European Union.
For the president of ARME, sub-Saharan Africa loses two billion dollars annually due to cybercrime and cybersecurity incidents.
Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, lost US$550 million in one year and around 14 million citizens were affected by this phenomenon, Isaías Barreto said, noting that exactly a year ago Cape Verde was the victim of a cyberattack on the State’s private technological network, which affected several institutions and companies.
“Throughout the world, it is urgent to put cybersecurity and the fight against cybercrime on the priority agenda of each country. Cybersecurity is a business where, either we make serious investments now, or we pay a much higher price in the future”.
“There is no country in the world today, however rich and powerful it may be, that is capable alone of winning the fight against cybercrime. This fight will only be won when we work on a regional or global scale,” he said.
In her speech, the European Union ambassador to Cape Verde, Carla Grijó, said that the project, in addition to improving the response and efficiency to cybercrime, will strengthen the rule of law and human rights.
“This is an area that Cape Verde can make a contribution to this regional project,” she said, highlighting regional cooperation, which is considered a “very relevant facet” as it is not possible to combat cybercrime with national measures alone.
Cape Verde was chosen as a pilot country to implement the project to create a Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) in the African sub-region, by raising awareness of computer security issues and creating a centre to monitor and combat cybercrime.