A cyber security centre that will coordinate investigations in eastern Africa against cybercrimes and cyber-enabled crimes such as terrorism, trafficking and money laundering has been launched in Rwanda, hosted in Kigali.
Officially called the Regional Cybercrime Investigation Centre for Excellence, the facility will be used for a number of activities including monitoring cybercrimes, gathering evidence for prosecuting cybercrimes, as well as training officials in cyber security.
Its establishment has been mainly funded by the Government of Japan. It will bring together partners including security agencies from regional countries, Interpol and so on.
Interpol’s Secretary General Jürgen Stock, who was present at the launch, praised the idea of the centre, as he highlighted the importance of cyber security in the current world.
"We are increasingly developing into a hyper-connected world, which means unprecedented opportunities for criminals to attack our systems, our private computers and also critical infrastructures. They (criminals) no longer have to leave their house, their country to attack any infrastructure somewhere else,” he said.
He pointed out that tackling cybercrime calls for strong international cooperation between governments, the private sector, regions as well as the globe at large.
Referring to the new centre opened in Rwanda as a new hub for information sharing, training and coordinating investigations, he said the world law enforcement community will benefit from it.
"We all need to take IT security seriously because the criminals are here, they try to look for opportunities to attack our systems, including our private systems. They have the resources. The estimates are saying the global damage in 2025, based on cybercrime crime will be around 10 trillion US dollars,” he noted.
The Minister of Justice Emmanuel Ugirashebuja told the media that Rwanda being the host nation for the centre points at the way the government has given priority to cybersecurity.
"In the past years, the Government of Rwanda has done a lot to build its capacity in investigation and prosecution of cybercrimes,” he said, adding that technology is continuing to change at a high speed and this requires regular training so that the country is ahead of those who want to perpetrate cybercrimes.