Editor’s Note: June 05, 2019
What is Africa doing about cyber security?
Kenyan authorities have said that a high profile cyber attack on 18 government websites on Monday did not result in any critical data being compromised, and that government systems were unaffected.
Good news, but the incident raises an obvious question. How prepared are African governments for cyber attacks?
Data on the subject is hard to come by, but according to the International Telecommunications Union’s Global Cyber Security Index, the answer is poorly.
The index ranks countries by commitment levels across five key areas – legal, technical,
organizational, capacity building and cooperation. Most of the continent is considered to have low commitment levels.
A few countries, including Kenya, have moderate commitment levels, with Mauritius ranked the highest.
Whether this means they are also prepared is debatable.
Factors like an estimated shortfall of 3m cybersecurity experts globally are hampering efforts. It’s estimated that Kenya has just 1700 skilled cyber security professionals, with 60% of companies facing a shortage.
Another problem is keeping up with rapid growth in the number of cyber attacks. The number of cyber threats identified by Kenya’s government in Q1 of 2019 almost tripled to 10.2m from the previous year.
Monday’s attacks shows that there are gaps, and if Kenya – one of Africa’s leading technology markets – is having a hard time, there is cause for concern.
From The Continent
South Africa’s ruling African National Congress has said the party’s executive has agreed to expand the mandate of the central bank to include growth and employment. The move is likely to stoke fears about the bank's independence, and economic policy direction under president Cyril Ramaphosa. More: Reuters
Zambia’s president Edgar Lungu on Tuesday said his government is “determined to proceed with the liquidation” of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), the country’s biggest copper producer, days after the firm said it was seeking international arbitration to stop the process. KCM, owned by London-based Vedanta Resources, has been accused of licence breaches, amid growing tension between miners and the government over planned tax hikes.More: News 24
The Daily Stat
The percentage by which South Africa’s economy contracted in Q1 of 2019, the most in a decade. More: France 24
The Global Perspective
Africa-focused off-grid solar company Azuri Technologies has raised $26m from international investors to fund expansion plans in West and East Africa. The investment was led by Japanese industrial conglomerate Marubeni. More: Telegraph
The World Bank has cut its global growth forecast for 2019 to 2.6%, down from 2.9%, citing weakening international trade and investment. The growth forecast for sub-Saharan Africa has also been cut to 2.9%, from earlier projections of 3.3%. More: World Bank