By Emma Okonji
Following the increasing rate of cybercrime and the need for the judiciary to apply the full weight of the law on cyber criminals, participants at the just concluded Africa Information and Communication Technologies Alliance summit (AfICTA), which held in Abuja, have advised governments at all levels to deploy information technology (IT) in the judicial system.
According to the summit, unless Nigerian and the rest of the African governments promote and use technology in the Judiciary and empower law enforcement officers, the fight against cybercrime may not yield the expected results.
To effectively fight cybercrime in the continent, the capacity development summit noted that tackling cybercrime and securing critical information infrastructure must be among African government’s key point agenda.
Although cybercrime is not only limited to Nigeria and other African countries, the summit noted that all relevant stakeholders in the ICT industry should, as a matter of necessity, engage the government on the promotion and use of technology in the judiciary so that law enforcement officers can effectively address cybercrime issues in Nigeria and Africa.
AfICTA is a 30-nation private sector led alliance of ICT Associations, multi-national corporations, companies, organisations and individuals in the ICT sector in Africa.
The summit was the 5th in the series, which began from Lagos in 2013 to Cairo in 2014, Johannesburg in 2015, and Windhoek in 2016.
The summit with the theme “One Africa, One Future: Leveraging ICT for Sustainable Development,” was hosted by the ADD Consortium composed of Afenoid Enterprise Limited, DigiSphere Limited and Dotengee Nig Ent in conjunction with eNigeria, powered by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), under the auspices of the Ministry of Communications.
Chair of the Summit 2017 Committee, Opeyemi Onifade, welcomed all delegates, while stressing the need to tame cyber insecurity in the country.
Chair of AfICTA, Dr. Jimson Olufuye in his opening speech, commended the Director-General of NITDA, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami and his team for sustaining the existing memorandum of understanding with AfICTA and enabling the hosting of AfICTA summit in conjunction with NITDA’s eNigeria under the auspices of the Ministry of Communications.
Also speaking, Marilyn Cade of the ICANN Business Constituency, ICANN-BC, who gave a goodwill message via live video platform, encouraged Africa to improve on the development of ICTs on the continent by participating in policies and advocacies for a healthy internet ecosystem.
Given the low patronage of Made-in-Nigeria ICT goods and services, which resulted in considerable capital flight out of the country, the summit noted that there was need to identify low hanging fruits for gradual implementation in order to achieve the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Part of the recommendation at the summit was that AfICTA should continue to push for best practices, foster business networks and enhance intra-African trade, aimed at supporting governments to transform from its low point of 12 per cent to more than 50 per cent by 2025.