Workshop method

G7-ECOWAS Workshop Towards a more secure digital ECOWAS

Accra, March 15, 2022 – Our societies and states are experiencing a rapid digital transformation that holds great opportunities for economic prosperity, equal access to knowledge and effective governance. However, digitalization also presents risks such as the misuse of cyberspace by malicious actors for criminal purposes and the risk of manipulation of digital public services.

In order to provide a safer digital ECOWAS, the ECOWAS Commission and Germany have committed to organize a series of workshops to develop an action plan to support the G7-ECOWAS cyber cooperation initiative.

The first G7-ECOWAS Workshop on Cyberdiplomacy and Critical Infrastructure Protection, held on March 15, 2022 in Accra, Ghana, brought together representatives from ECOWAS Ministries of Foreign Affairs (MFAs) to strengthen cyberdiplomacy and technical capacities, as well as representatives of responsible ministries. for ICT and national CERT/CSIRT officers.

Dr Kouame Raphael Koffi, Ag. of the ECOWAS Commission. The Director, Digital Economy and Post, said cybersecurity and cybercrime are major issues for any nation, business and individual. This, he indicated, justifies the implementation of the ECOWAS Cybersecurity Program which aims to support the facilitation of a secure ECOWAS cyberspace. To facilitate the ongoing G7-ECOWAS initiative, a participatory and inclusive approach is essential for ownership by Member States and for greater efficiency when implementing the initiative.

Mr. John Reyels, head of the cyber policy coordination staff of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, said that under Germany’s G7 presidency, cyber security is a top priority. He emphasized that cybersecurity is about protecting data sovereignty, online freedom and the current realities of international conflict. Thus, the initiative between ECOWAS and Germany and its G7 partners is launched to strengthen cooperation in the field of cyberspace because the challenges of cyberspace are still new and constantly evolving and can only be successfully addressed by the international cooperation.

The Acting Director General of the Ghana Cybersecurity Authority (CSA), Dr. Albert Antwi-Boasiako, commended ECOWAS leadership in cybersecurity as the regional bloc developed and adopted two important regional instruments – the ECOWAS Regional Cybersecurity and Cybercrime Strategy and the Regional Critical Infrastructure Protection Policy. Likewise, he said Germany’s recognition of cybersecurity as a priority as part of its leadership of G7 countries is heartening. He concluded by affirming Ghana’s commitment to support regular engagements aimed at improving global standards, cyber diplomacy and capacity building efforts in the region to safeguard the digital developments taking place in the ECOWAS region.