The African Union (AU) on Thursday expressed deep concern over the increasing cyber threats and attacks in Africa and beyond.
The statement was made by the AU’s Peace and Security Council (PSC) in a statement issued on Thursday following its recent meeting that dwelt upon the development of the common African position on cyber threats in Africa.
The council said the increasing cyber threats and attacks constitute a serious threat to national, regional, and international peace and security.
The council reiterated its commitment to finding a lasting solution to the growing threat to peace, security, and stability in the continent posed by the increasing cyber-attacks, malicious use of information and communication technologies (ICTs), and incidents of unethical and hostile cyber-activities undertaken by both state and non-state actors.
It expressed concern over the targeting of government institutions and public infrastructure, the spread of misinformation and disinformation, subversive activities and interferences with national government processes, as well as the promotion of ideologies of hate and hate speech.
Commending AU member states that have already developed robust legislative and institutional frameworks on the use of ICTs and cyberspace, the council further encouraged those that have not yet done so to develop their own national cyber security strategies.
The council further called on African countries to fastback the signing and ratification of the African Union Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection, also called the Malabo Convention.
The council further strongly condemned all cyber-attacks, particularly the recent “large-scale attack” on the AU Commission’s information technology infrastructure.
It also underscored the importance of mainstreaming women and the youth, as well as the importance of taking into full consideration the peculiarities of the specific contexts of each AU member state.