Progressing Cybersecurity in Senegal and West Africa

Senegal and the Netherlands have teamed up to exchange practical steps and expertise to address cybersecurity issues in Senegal and the broader West African region. A secure digital environment will permit the region to fully take advantage of the opportunities for growth that technology offers.

Grafity advertisement of cyber cafe on a concrete wall in Senegal

Digital challenges in West Africa

Digital developments in Africa are already going fast and African city centers are changing profoundly.  However, new challenges arise alongside growth. Increasing technological exposure poses its own vulnerabilities and risks. Today, challenges in Africa center on achieving a level of technological security in order to prevent and control risks; contribute to the economy and guarantee access to information to individuals while at the same time creating a climate of confidence and trust in ICTs and protecting rights and freedoms.

The GFCE initiative aims to address the mentioned challenges through the following activities;

  • A cyber security capacity review of Senegal conducted by the Global Cyber Security Capacity Center, to enable the government of Senegal to prioritize areas of capacity investments.
  • Two Expert Meetings on cyber security to address issues and challenges relevant for the West African region.

Expected Outcomes

  • As part of this initiative, the Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre (GCSCC) conducted a review of cybersecurity capacities in Senegal, supported by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of Senegal. The review, which took place in January 2016, was based on the Cybersecurity Capacity Maturity Model for Nations (CMM). For this mission, experts from the GCSCC have met all important Senegalese cyber stakeholders- government, academia, law enforcement forces, the private sector, NGOs, etc.  The recommendations that were provided with the review report allow the Senegalese government to prioritize the areas of capacity in which Senegal could invest strategically. Read this article for more information. The full review report is available here.
  • The National Cyber Security Strategy of Senegal was validated on November 2017. The publication is available here
  • Priorities in cybersecurity for the West-African region will be identified on 12 and 13 April 2016 during the first expert meeting in Dakar, Senegal.
  • The second expert meeting will build on the outcomes the first meeting and will seek to capture recommendations in a report in November 2018 (tentative).

Participating members & partners

Explaining the Cybersecurity Awareness initiative

The Cyber Security Awareness Initiative. The Netherlands/Senegal.

Yaya Abdoul Kane (Senegal):

Yes, Senegal has partnered with The Netherlands to raise awareness amongst the different actors of cybersecurity and to take the necessary measures together to face the threats.

ARD VAN DER STEUR (the Netherlands):

It is time to address our cyber needs with concrete solutions.
As a key effort to strengthen cyber capacity and exchange of cyber expertise,
we have established the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise.
The Netherlands will launch four initiatives: Responsible Disclosure,
CSIRT Maturity, awareness raising and internet infrastructure and maintenance.

Video explaining the Cybersecurity Awareness initiative (the initiative has been recently renamed) recorded during the Global Conference on Cyberspace 2015 (GCCS2015) in April 2015.