The ECOWAS Rolls Out Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign

The ECOWAS Commission, in partnership with the European Union, Expertise France, and the Government of Burkina Faso will officially hand over equipment to the Digital Investigation Laboratory of the BCLCC of Burkina Faso on March 30, 2021. An awareness workshop for digital hygiene will also be rolled out on the same day.

The Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) revolution has radically changed the world through the automation of tasks. They have become de facto essential for sustainable development, particularly in the productivity of the economy. However, they have also given rise to the emergence of new forms of criminality connected to their uses. According to several studies, cybercrime costs the global economy more than 500 billion dollars each year. Thus, the financial damage suffered by Burkina Faso due to cybercrime activities is estimated at more than one (01) billion FCFA according to the 2020 statistics of the Central Brigade Against Cybercrime.

In spite of the multiple efforts of the Burkinabé government to clean up its cyberspace through the establishment of specialized structures such as ANSSI, CIRT-BF, and BCLCC, as well as the development of standards such as RGS-BF and SNCS, adopted in 2019, the phenomenon of cybercrime remains a real threat.

With a view to providing a response to the strong growth of cybercrime in its area and to support its member countries, the ECOWAS Commission initiated the project “Organized crime: West Africa’s response to cybersecurity and the fight against cybercrime” (OCWAR-C). This project focuses on contributing to the strengthening of cybersecurity and the combat against cybercrime in West Africa.

Funded by the European Union, one of the initiatives of the project is the establishment or renovation of central digital investigation laboratories and the other is to conduct awareness campaigns.

To this end, Burkina Faso is the beneficiary of a batch of relevant specific equipment for its Digital Investigation Laboratory in order to strengthen the capacities of its specialized unit in charge of fighting cybercrime and of series of sensitizations on issues of cybersecurity and cybercrime.

Expertise France, the international technical cooperation agency responsible for implementing the project works nearly with the ECOWAS Commission and the various actors involved in the field (Ministries in charge of the digital economy, security, justice, agencies such as ANSSI.

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