In a bid to fight cybersecurity and reduce the global impact and protect communities for a safer world, the United Kingdom has announced a £22 million pledge that will be used to support cyber capacity building in Nigeria and other countries.
The the UK Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, who made this announcement said £3 million of this funding will create a new Africa cyber desk for INTERPOL, where expert team will drive the regional fight against cybercrime.
According to him, the new INTERPOL desk will work across Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda creating a regional strategy to support joint operations against cybercrime, and strengthen African states’ capability to combat the crime and those behind it.
“We are working with like-minded partners, to make sure that the international order that governs cyber activity is fit for purpose. Our aim should be to create a cyberspace that is free, open, peaceful and secure, which benefits all countries and all people,” he said.
Raab added that the UK wants to see international law respected in cyberspace, just like anywhere else and the need to show how the rules apply to these changes in technology, the changes in threats, and the systemic attempts to render the internet a lawless space.
Since 2018 the UK has been actively partnering with Nigeria to support the development of Cyber Security policies and strategies. Both countries share an ambition to create a safe and secure digital community that provides opportunities for Nigerian citizens and promotes peaceful engagement in cyberspace that enhances national prosperity. The launch in February this year by President Buhari of the new Nigerian National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy (NCPS) 2021 followed well-targeted UK-funded technical assistance through the UK’s Digital Access Programme.
That programme has also funded a project to upskill Small Medium and Enterprises across Nigeria on cyber basics which was delivered through the NGO CyberSafe Foundation (https://cybersafefoundation.org/). The UK Department of International Trade (UK DIT) has also hosted a virtual event for Nigerian stakeholders interested in cyber security for the financial services sector. This event discussed emerging cyber security issues for the sector and showcased aspects of the UK’s approach.
Today’s development is a part of the UKs ambition to build global cyber resilience. We see Nigeria and Africa as a whole as an important partner in this. With some of the fastest growing economies in the world, Africa has become a target for opportune cybercriminals. By creating a central coordination desk within INTERPOL that law enforcement across Africa can use, the UK hopes to improve collaboration across borders to advance intelligence sharing, and ultimately stop the perpetrators of cybercrime in Nigeria and across Africa.