Press Releases


ECOWAS Member States Collaborate to Strengthen Cyber Resilience in West Africa

06 Jun, 2024

The ECOWAS Commission, in partnership with the German Federal Foreign Office, the European Union, the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and the Global Forum for Cyber Expertise (GFCE), organised a workshop on Confidence Building Measures (CBMs). The event brought together representatives from Ministries responsible for Digital Economy/ICT and Foreign Affairs from June 3 – 4, 2024, in Accra, Ghana.

The workshop is a pivotal component of the Joint Platform for Advancing Cyber Security in West Africa. Its primary objective is to empower the ECOWAS Commission and Member States in developing and implementing CBMs critical to enhancing cyber resilience within the region. By doing so, it contributes to the overall strengthening of our collective digital community.

Colonel Anorph Barnabas Akanbong, Director of Training at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), in his welcoming address highlighted the evolving importance of cybersecurity, noting its shift from a concern primarily within technical domains to a matter of political significance, affecting modern society at various levels, from cybercrime to military operations. He emphasised the importance of regional collaboration and urged participants to devise ingenious and practical solutions to the security challenges in our shared cyberspace.

Ms Folake Olagunju, Principal Programme Officer for Internet, Cybersecurity & E-applications, delivered the welcome address on behalf of Mr. Sédiko Douka, Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy and Digitalisation of the ECOWAS Commission. She commended the progress made thus far in developing CBMs for the region. She urged participants to work towards establishing a formal CBM framework across ECOWAS Member States. She highlighted the indispensable role of CBMs in fostering resilience and ensuring stability in the digital domain, citing their potential to foster transparency, cooperation, and information sharing, thereby bolstering confidence in our collective capacity to address cyber challenges effectively.

Ms Pauline Otkens Head of Political Section, representing the German Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana acknowledged the global complexities of securing cyberspace. She noted that the presence of participants at this event underscores the collective commitment to addressing pressing cybersecurity challenges collaboratively. She stated that this meeting represents a crucial step toward fostering increased trust and cooperation. Implementing an initial set of CBMs, she believes, will significantly enhance cybersecurity and resilience in the region.

The workshop ended with participants committing to practical measures for building confidence, capacities and cooperation at national and regional levels on reducing risks of threats stemming from cyberspace.

Member States