Togo, UN spearhead African Cybersecurity Centre to cement Lomé Declaration
The Republic of Togo and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) have entered into an agreement to jointly establish the “African Centre for Coordination and Research in Cybersecurity”.
A statement released to the media confirms the regional hub for cybersecurity information and intelligence is to be based in Lomé (Togo) and will act independently and objectively in expertise and activities related to promoting cybersecurity and the investigation of cybercrime.
The main functions of the centre include:
• Building capacities and supporting established cybersecurity agencies in African countries
• Collaborating with African governments, policymakers, law enforcement and security experts towards creating effective frameworks for assessing and mitigating cyberthreats and promoting cybersecurity in the region
• Providing highly specialized technical and research capabilities for cybersecurity promotion in the region
The statement includes reference to the Lomé Declaration, the result of the first cybersecurity summit involving Togo and the ECA hosted in March this year.
During the summit, the "Lomé Declaration on cybersecurity and the fight against cybercrime" (Lomé Declaration) was officially adopted.
The Lomé Declaration is a commitment by member states to sign and ratify the African Union "Malabo Convention" – one of the most elaborate conventions in the world on cybersecurity, and strengthen African cooperation in cybersecurity and the fight against cybercrime.
As a result, the MOU between the Republic of Togo and ECA will enable the creation of the African Cybersecurity Centre to support African countries in executing the Lomé Declaration.
To date, Togo is one of the few countries to have ratified the Malabo Convention. The country has implemented a legal and regulatory framework adapted to cybersecurity and established regulatory entities such as the National Cybersecurity Agency (ANCy) and the Personal Data Protection Authority (IPDCP).
In partnership with Asseco Data Systems, a Polish cybersecurity company, the Togolese Republic has set up a cybersecurity service company - Cyber Defense Africa (CDA), composed mainly of Togolese, for the protection of its cyberspace while ensuring a transfer of skills.
Togo's Minister of Digital Economy and Digital Transformation Cina Lawson said, “We are pleased to partner with ECA to further our commitment to making cybersecurity a top priority for our nations. We aim to become a significant digital hub in Africa. Our partnership model with the private sector is an innovative approach that we want to showcase to inspire other countries for safer cyberspace on the continent.”
The Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ECA, Dr Vera Songwe, said, “It is important to promote coordinated cybersecurity approaches in Africa. UNECA is further strengthened in its determination to promote cybersecurity in the region to advance the African digital economy, and we are pleased to partner with the Government of Togo to ensure that a key commitment derived from the Lomé Declaration on Cybersecurity and Fight Against Cybercrime, 2022 is now to be commenced”.