Africa, the second largest continent by area, with a population of just over 1 billion is made up of 55 countries. Algeria is the largest country, while Nigeria is the most populous – at least 1 in 4 Africans is Nigerian.
With the advent of broadband across the African continent in the past year, the phrase, “Africa is open for business” has never rang truer. While the increased internet bandwidth capacity has been a boon to those involved in the still fledgling e-economy, it has also meant the threat to the continent from cybercrime has increased exponentially. In 2010, only five African countries; Egypt, Mauritius, Morocco, Tunisia and South Africa have adopted the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime and passed legislation covering the following:
- computer misuse
- data breach notification
- data protection/privacy
- intellectual property/copyright
While that number has more than doubled, it still means that about 60% of the continent does not have legislation governing their cyberspace. There is therefore an urgent requirement for Africa to secure her cyberspace in order to realise the enormous potential for economic growth, as what are predominantly agrarian economies are transformed to knowledge-based ones.