Chiefs of cybercrime units from over 40 countries are in Kigali, Rwanda to attend the 9th Africa Working Group meeting (AWGM) that aims at bringing together law enforcement officials from African member countries and various stakeholders in the field of cybercrime to discuss the increasing threat of cybercrime and strengthening operational capacity of member countries.
They will also adopt operational strategies, discuss international cooperation in combating cybercrime in the Africa region and share best practices in cybercrime investigation.
The Africa Cyber Surge Training is an operational initiative following recommendations from past Africa Working Group Meetings for INTERPOL to conduct, facilitate and coordinate joint operations against cybercrime in the African region.
“Cybersecurity is an issue of profound importance in today’s technology-driven world, a fact of life for all of us,” Rwanda’s Justice Minister and Attorney General, Emmanuel Ugirashebuja, said while officiating the five-days meeting on Monday in Kigali. “The Government of Rwanda greatly appreciates INTERPOL’s continued support in the fight against cybercrime and its effort in enabling African countries to engage in discussions with experts and learn from their experiences on diverse aspects of cybercrime,” the Minister said.
He noted that “as the world continues to recover from the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, practices including the increased use of virtual workspaces, online marketplaces and e-Governance have become the norm,” and while this presents opportunities to revamp economies and streamline public service delivery in general and the justice in particular, it unfortunately and simultaneously increases exposure to cybercrime.
Dr. Ugirashebuja noted that “Cybercrime is not only a question of attacks against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data as well as systems, it is also against the core values and the potentiality of human development on societies increasingly relying on information technology.”Participants agreed that enforcement agencies must step up their efforts to responses against cyber threats to remain effective by enhancing measures to detect and prevent the attacks to the source, where investigation and prosecution can effectively take place.
And that, countries need to use collective efforts and work more closely with other stakeholders with the aim to share vital information in the detection, prevention and investigation of cybercrime.
This event is one of the most important hosted by the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) since its establishment four years ego.
“The importance of this working group meeting cannot be over emphasized,” said Jeannot Ruhunga, RIB’s Secretary General.He added that, “The speed of technological advancement, increasing globalization, and the exponential growth of global markets have created opportunities for criminal activities using new forms of anonymity, often with a low risk of detection.”
As technology continues to evolve, so do the opportunities and challenges it provides.
As technology brings ever greater benefits, it also brings ever greater threats: by the very nature of the opportunities, it presents it becomes a focal point for cybercrime, industrial espionage, and cyberattacks.
“Therefore, without a continued international cooperation through joint trainings and exchange of information on new cyber threats and tools to deal with them, our mission of protecting our nations a safer world cannot be achieved,” Ruhunga said while welcoming participants to the meeting.
The meeting began on Monday, July 18, and ends on July 22.