AU ministers agree to seek greater say on global internet governance agenda

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia  (PANA) - African ministers of communication, technology and information resolved on Thursday to seek a greater role in international internet governance.

The resolution was passed at their second meeting to discuss policies and regulations concerning the use of internet and cyber security here.

Also, the Ministers, attending the AU Specialised Technical Committee session on ICT, approved a report prepared by technology experts who met here from 20-22 Nov.

They paid particular attention to the evolution of the information society in Africa and its ongoing digital transformation.

Presently, the African Information Society pays particular attention to efforts to ensure African citizens are knowledgeable on matters concerning the use of the internet as well as working on ways of enhancing access to broadband internet.

On this account, the ICT ministers reiterated the need for Africa to become actively involved in the dynamics of Internet Governance, Cybersecurity, and Cybercrime

Meeting for the first since September 2015, the minister took note of developments which have taken place in the sectors of communication and information technology and in the infrastructure development in general.

The ministerial conference, holding at the headquarters of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was officially opened by Mr. Cheikh Bedda, Director, Infrastructure and Energy Department, on behalf of the Commissioner, Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid.

Outgoing chair of the STC on Communication and ICT, Malian minister Modibo Arouna Touré welcomed the ministers to the meeting noting that, since 2000, the world has gone through major changes due to the tremendous development of communications and IT and which has affected societies and lives.

“Governance of the Internet is a concern to all of us because it is in the heart of economic, political, geopolitical stakes at the national level. For this particular reason, it is imperative for Africa to be actively involved in the dynamics of Internet Governance, Cybersecurity, and Cybercrime,” Touré underscored.

He further urged the Member States to have integrated vision to better use ICTs and to have more proactive participation in Internet Governance and Cybersecurity meetings.

Touré shed light on some achievements and outcomes to be further consolidated:

The adoption of the Action Plan to implement the Decisions on Communication and Information Technologies; the implementation of management organization for the sustainability of the Pan African e-Network (PAeN) project; the holding of the Extra-Ordinary session of the STC CCICT on Internet Governance and Cybersecurity; ownership of different domains such as Dot Africa; the increase of Internet exchange points in Africa as part of the African Internet Exchange Point System (AXIS) in addition to others, according to the AU.

The AU Commission strongly believes that the building of Africa’s information society requires a secure and safe cyberspace, an appropriate infrastructure and efficient coordination and adequately harmonized legal and regulatory frameworks.

An AU official explained that the Commission developed a Convention on Cyber legislation for the continent that adheres to the legal and regulatory requirements on electronic transactions, cyber security, and personal data protection.

The Convention was adopted by the AU Assembly in June 2014.

-0- PANA AO/AR 23Nov2017

23 november 2017 17:46:41

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