East African Community (EAC) member states have committed to develop a strong and effective cyber-security framework to protect the bloc against cyber threats.
During the 2011 regional workshop on Cyberspace Security held in Nairobi, Kenya, member states agreed to develop and promote a strong culture of cyber-security that recognises and effectively responds to the global threats and challenges associated with the internet, interconnected mobile networks and related technologies.
This includes exchanging cyber security best practices and maintaining an open dialogue on the full range of challenges and threats for their effective utilisation and collaboration.
The three-day workshop also attended by security personnel from the region, pledged to build on the work of the EAC Cyber laws Reform Program, and in particular, the EAC Framework for Cyber laws.
The Cyber laws were adopted in May 2010, in which Partner States committed to enact comprehensive cyber-security legislation, including cybercrime legislation consistent with the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime (2001).
Other measures to combat cyber threats include strengthening capacity to investigate and prosecute cybercrimes, joining and participating in the 24/7 Cybercrime Network and creating national Computer Emergency Readiness Teams (CERTs).
The move is in line with Articles 98 and 99 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community (EAC) where Partner States undertake to cooperate in the establishment and operation of communications infrastructure and the development and deployment of ICT applications and services, and building on the work of the EAC Task Force on Cyber laws.
Cyber threats include internet and mobile frauds, cyber-based terrorism, computer intrusions, and online sexual exploitation.
Police Spokesperson, Supt. Theos Badege said that this collaboration will help Rwanda access further quality training and support on cyber security.
“This will further enhance our partnership and collaboration with other countries in the fight against cybercrime through sharing of information and expertise in regard to cyber crimes. There will be a strong response through effective Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs)” he explained.