Twitter Facebook Youtube
Telecommunication and Information Technology Pivotal to the West African integration process
Officials at the opening of the conference with Commissioner Isaias Barreto (2nd from left), with on his left Manuel Pereira, Richard Young, Moctar Yedaly

Abuja, 10 September 2017. The Commissioner for Telecommunication and Information Technology (TIT) of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Dr Isaias Barreto da Rosa, has underscored the importance of TIT in the West African integration process.In his opening remarks at the regional conference on “Harmonisation of Legislation on Cybercrime and Electronic Evidence with Rule of Law and Human Rights Safeguards”, held in Abuja on 11 September 2017, he stated that TIT is the key to achieving sustainable development projects.

“ECOWAS, envisioned by the Heads of State to become an ECOWAS of People, seeks to establish a single digital market. In the global context, no development process or single digital market can thrive without a safe cyberspace in our region”, said Dr Isaias Barreto da Rosa.

The conference, held jointly by the ECOWAS Commission and the European Council, will examine laws on cybercrime and electronic evidence in ECOWAS Member States, in relation to the Budapest Convention on cybercrime.

It will serve as a platform to provide Member States with the necessary guidelines and skills to bring their national laws in line with the Budapest Convention and ECOWAS standards.

The conference also presents a forum to share experiences and best practices among ECOWAS Member States in the areas of cybercrime investigation, prosecution and trial. It will promote the establishment of international ties for judicial cooperation on cybercrime.

Group photo

In his speech, Manuel Pereira, Programme Officer for Global Action on Cybercrime Extended (GLACY+) and coordinator of the Council of Europe Office on cybercrime, pointed out that his organisation is committed to the fight against cybercrime.

“Cybercrime is by nature a borderless phenomenon. For that reason, it is essential that all countries, particularly those in ECOWAS, have a solid legislative framework in line with international standards”, he noted.

Pereira informed the meeting that the GLACY project revealed the need to assist Member States in adopting efficient and adequate laws on cybercrime and electronic evidence, such as to facilitate the relevant prosecutions and trials.

It should be emphasised that ECOWAS has two Supplementary Acts on electronic transactions and personal data protection, as well as a Directive on the fight against cybercrime. These instruments are expected to enable the regional organisation establish a harmonised legal framework to regulate electronic transactions in Member States.

cross section of the participants

Furthermore, the ECOWAS Commission is working towards the implementation of its regional cyber security programme, with a view to enhancing cyber security in the region. The programme will provide relevant capacity building support to West Africa.

The programme is also intended to more effectively address threats to cyber security and ensure better protection of information infrastructure in the ECOWAS region. It will thus contribute to enhanced internet security and increased protection for internet users thereby meeting national priorities and optimising the socio-economic benefits of the internet.


Share on :

Twitter Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Youtube Instgram