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IGF 2020 - Day 6 - WS 43 Trusted Digital Space via‎PRIDA–Informed‎Transformed Africa

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the virtual Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), from 2 to 17 November 2020. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 

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>> Well, hello.  Welcome to WS number 43, "Trusted Digital Space Via PRIDA" it's recorded under the IGF code of conduct and UN rules and regulations.

Thank you.  The moderator can now take over.

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: Thank you very much.  Welcome, everybody, to our session.  I trust you will have some space in Africa.  This is sponsored by PRIDA, PRIDA, its joint initiative between the African Union Commission, and the European Union.  It stands for policy and regulation initiative for digital Africa, and being supported by my colleagues.

Just to tell you the flow of the session, we will skip the introduction part of the panelists.  We will ask them a few questions and then open for the Q&A and then we'll have a closing session.

As we said, this is ‑‑ the session is entitled "Trusted Digital Space In Africa."

Africa has many major headway in developing its digital ecosystem in the past decade, which can be related in the adoption by the African Union for the infrastructure for 2020‑2030 this year.  Nonetheless, there's still an evident gap among AU Member States in determines of detail maturity, and adopt the projects and the proper strategy, capabilities and programs to mitigate cyber threats.

The ongoing digital transformation in Africa will not provide the desired social and economic benefits unless Africa has access to a secure and trusted cyberspace.  The rapid growth of the Internet has provided new opportunities that can be exploited, however because the apparent digital divide, the benefits are not reaching all Africans equal, leaving some communities and groups behind.

Another dimension to consider is that while digital technologies expand the possibility for people to enjoy freedoms and right to information on knowledge access as people come online, they face a number of possible harm from the use of their data without their consent and the lack of protection of their personal data.

To illegitimate use and cybercrime and cyber terrorists.  Information on data governments needs to be a top priority for all governments.

The African Union supports as an integral and divisible part.  These are essential to creating ‑‑ (Speaking non‑English).

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: For all ‑‑ (Speaking non‑English).

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: I think we have an issue with the interpretation.

>> Can you hear us?

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: We can hear you, but I think the interpreters, the channels, they have to be ‑‑ you are coming at the same time as I speak.

So let me continue, the African Union, is integral and ‑‑ these gaps are essential to creating the trusted environment necessary for ecommerce, eGovernment and digital services generated to take off.  The digital inclusion with the necessary protection will be an essential level in post‑COVID‑19 economic reconstruction across the continent and determinant of which countries will benefit from African continental free trade agreement.

The complex geopolitical situation and the lack of global consensus on cyberspace make it even harder for developing nations to promote coherent billing agenda.  Our speakers will attempt us to walk us through the challenges, highlight key mitigation measures and provide some answers.

Join me to welcome Mr. Abdul‑Hakeem Ajijola, the chair of the African Union Commission, Dr. Alison Gillwald, director of Research ICT after risk.  And Dr. Nnenna Ifeanyi Ajufo and Mr. Vladimir Radunovic of DiploFoundation.

Okay.  So as we said, we are going to start with questions to our panelists.  We have a very distinguished group of panelists.  I think most of you know our panelists.  I start my first question to Mr. Moctar Yedaly, the head of African Union Commission, and I think it's very important to know what is the role of the African Union Commission, in terms of building trust in the cyberspace, particularly for policymakers in AU Member States to ‑‑ to enable them to confidentially engage and in that ‑‑ in the same context, I would like him to explain what are the initiatives that are currently being considered by the African Union Commission and how they are all going to help close this cross gap in Africa.  Mr. Yedaly.

>> MOCTAR YEDALY: Thank you very much, Adil.  Hello, everybody.  It's also very good to have you here.  It's good for me also, I'm very happy to be here so with so much prominent speakers like Alison, Vladimir, Abdul and Nnenna.  Allow me to congratulate you and your team for organizing this in the framework of the Internet Governance Forum.

The question you have asked me is related to the role of what has been done by the African Union Commission so far.  And before answering straight to that question, I would like just to mention something very important to me, which is actually that the digital transformation is a requirement for survival for the African continent, and it is also a geopolitical challenge for the continent.

The economy and the threat of the future of the race for data collection and Africa must do something to avoid digital colonization.  Without the exponential growth of digital technology globally, Africans ‑‑ African state must reap the maximum benefit, while trying to remain sovereign.  It's very important.  The digital sovereignty is extremely important.

Having said that, the African Union Commission on behalf of the Member States objectives of it all is to have each and every member of the union adopting a cyber threat issue, number one.

Number two, to have them adopting each of them as cyber legislation, and adaptable to the context.  And lastly, each of them should have established a computer emergency incident team, a CSIRT.

So ten years ago, the African leadership has seen the importance of cybersecurity and my team and I have been requested to draft a normative text on the cybersecurity and we went beyond the expectation of the head of state and we drafted the African Union convention on cybersecurity, personal data protection and electronic transaction.

So ten years ago in 2010, we really seen the importance of protecting our electronic transactions and the fact that the link between the cybersecurity and the personal data protection, and that is how I ‑‑ we have been working since 2010 to have the Malabo Convention since 2014.  Right after this convention, we started negotiating with the European Union the PRIDA project, which received the regulatory initiatives for digital Africa.

And the project aims really one of the major things ‑‑ one of the project's aim is Internet government and digital governance.  And this is how we have been able to build the ‑‑ most of the capacity building ‑‑ to build most of the capacity within the African continent and make the African Union and the African Member States in the global context.

Now, this is ‑‑ what we have done so far related to cybersecurity, and allow me to insist on the fact that it is very important for us as Africans to finally start really using the digital technologies to change the way we are considering our development.  This is why in 2020, the African Union adopted the digital union strategy of which the major pillar, actually is cybersecurity.  With that, I hand it over to you and thank you for your kind attention.

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: Just a small follow‑up question.  Can you tell us the status of the digital transformation?  I understand it has been adopted, but what are the next steps?

>> MOROCCO: After the adoption in January of last year, unfortunately, we just hit right away the COVID‑19, and while our priority was really to start building a framework for the implementation, involving the regional community, the specialized institutions, the Member States, we started doing that in March and COVID‑19 came in and we reorient our activities now in implementing specifically the component of the digital transformation related to, one, the e‑education and e‑health specifically, and in addition to the activating the Working Group on artificial intelligence that will start tomorrow, actually, being operational.  Over to you.

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: Thank you very much, Moctar.  And so we now ‑‑ we heard what the African Union Commission is doing in terms of building confidence.  Alison, our next speaker, the next question is to you.  As stated by Moctar, Africa cannot afford to wait on the sideline until the trust issue is eventually sorted out by others, and in the process miss the train of enforcement the Industrial Revolution.  So given the complexity and the constraint that the African ‑‑ that is facing in terms of participation in this digital revolution, what is it in practical terms, what is it that the ‑‑ that can be advised by you through the research that you have done, through the years to address this issue from a policy and government perspective.

Hello, Alison, can you hear me? 

>> ALISON GILLWALD:  My apologies.  I turned my mute off.  I seem to have turned it back on.  Thank you very much, Adil, for your question and looking forward very much to engaging on this really important topic with these eminent panelists.  Because the issue of trust is absolutely central to addressing issues of inequality and creating the digitally enabled environment to redress the problems with COVID‑19 and if we get the type of reconstruction that we want with the African continental free trade agreement, all of these are underpinned by trust.

And I just wanted to sort of take a step back quickly and just say, you know, the issue of trust is a big issue in the analog world.  It's a big issue offline.  A lot of literature that political economy, the political science literature at the moment is around the lack of trust of institutions, the lack of trust of governments.  You know, the challenges that we have from normative frameworks that we have had, you know, trusted and used for years and years.  So there's enormous complexities around issues of trust.  It's not just a tap you switch on or off.  It's really got to be earned and we have got to contribute to making those work.

So, you know, how can we?

I want to start with distinguishing trust from security and from safety.  So these are underpinnings of trust, but you don't ‑‑ you need them.  They are necessary conditions for trust, but you don't automatically get trust once you have a secure system.  Once you have a secure system, you need to build on what Moctar said.  The underpinnings of trust are having a safe and secure Internet, cybersecurity, in that sense, and then the other one is, you know, the data protection that would actually protect people's rights online and I think that's a very important thing.

You know, very often in many jurisdictions we look for signatories to commit to global conventions, global conventions and regional conventions that are underpinned by human rights framework that is sometimes limited ‑‑ not existing in our countries.  It's absolutely important that for the legal systems to work, we have to have rule of law.  We have to have these institutions that work.  And then we need the cybersecurity overlay just to get the security and then we need the data protection.  But the trust comes on how those systems are used.  Cybersecurity can be abused for public surveillance and private surveillance, in fact, special surveillance is a big problem for us with the global platforms and monopolies.  We have to be careful that the cybersecurities is trusted and transparent and accountable and likewise with our data protection, it's no use just taking very sophisticated data protection systems from very mature economies and mature democracies and trying to put them into a context where we don't have the institutional arrangements to enforce them, et cetera.

On the other hand, we are part of the global system.  We have got to align with those.  We have to be able to ensure that even the most marginal people coming online in understand their rights and the competency and capabilities to check the system and trust that it's working in their favor.

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: Thank you very much, Alison.  I think you made a very important point is that even though, security and safety is the equivalent in the room, but there's some other component of trust that needs to be earned in order for the ecosystem to work, to function properly.

Abdul‑Hakeem, a question to you, the next question to you.  In the absence of globally binding legal framework on cyberspace, please explain the importance of international cyber norms for building confidence in the cyberspace.  And I want you to zoom in, in one of the norms and explain to us why it is relevant to Africa and the impact on African in terms of building the trust in ICT.

>> ABDUL-HAKEEM AJIJOLA: I have to unmute myself.  Sorry.

Okay.  First of all, let's put some of these norms in the global context.  First of all, at the United Nations level, it has been agreed, broadly agreed on the set of norms, and these norms basically are based on a principle that the international law applies in cyberspace.  So none of these things are considered beyond that context of international law.  So international law does apply in cyberspace.

Now, having said that, the UN has so far articulated a set of 11 norms, which basically are aimed at setting some clear expectations of what is responsible cyber behavior, especially by state actors during ‑‑ during peace time.

Now, of course, sometimes during wartime, you know, some bets are off, if not all bets, but the point is that these norms and confidence‑building measures are to try and prevent us from getting to a wartime situation.  And then these 11 norms which I will get into in a moment are underpinned or driven or supported by certain confidence building measures and some of the norms are inherently confidence building measures and I will get into that in a moment.

But the other key component of, you know ‑‑ is ‑‑ the underline cyberspace is based on the international law, are these norms.  It’s actually the issue of capacity building.  Without capacity building at various levels, whether it's systems, whether it's people, you know, which it's governance structures, all of these things, the idea is to harness the benefits on the one side, but ensure that we mitigate the risks on the other side of our interconnectivity.

And I would like to just draw on something that Mr. Moctar had said earlier, and the keyword that he used ‑‑ really, this is about survival.  And I think Africa very urgently needs to develop cyber diplomats, African nations as a whole, so we can make sure that the African priorities and perspectives are properly reflected, you know, as a foundation to those new types of international relationships that are emerging.

I am pleased to note that the African Union, in fact, in recent weeks has recently done some interventions on this specific issue, but the challenge is actually beyond the African Union.  The African nation states themselves must begin to see that cyber diplomacy is a new area that is in their national self‑interest.

So let's go over very quickly what is are the 11 norms.  Someone one is really about interstate cooperation.  Two is about considering relevant information.  Three is one that I think is of particular interest that is prevent the misuse of ICTs, you know in, each of our jurisdictions.  Please many had of us erroneously believe that cyberspace is borderless.  And that is because it appears or simulates borderlessness to the end user, and also to the bad actor, however, we must appreciate that cyberspace for the law enforcement or the nation state is restricted by those activities and especially systems that are within its jurisdiction.

So an investigator, for example, in Morocco cannot simply go to a server in Zimbabwe and interrogate it or even a Zimbabwean citizen who is physically in Zimbabwe.  You need that kind of cooperation so that African states ‑‑ and again, underpinned by the African Union can do that.

Number four is actually a call to ensure that there's some level of cooperation and stopping of crime and terrorism.

Number five is respect for human rights.  I think this is something that all nations, not just African nations could do well to improve upon.  Number six is not to damage critical infrastructure.  So, for example, if you have an undersea fiber cable and it’s in front of your country, you shouldn't damage it because you are having a problem with the next country because that undersea cable not only serviced the next country but services several other countries, you know, further down the line.

Then you have a duty to protect critical infrastructure, to respond to requests from other nations for assistance, and then we have to find ways ‑‑ and this is number nine ‑‑ ensures, you know, the security of the supply chain or various supply chains.

And then we talk about number ten which is to report ICT vulnerabilities.  And number 11, which, again, Moctar had touched upon do no harm to the CSIRTs, that he talked about, and analogy of the CSIRTs is that they are like hospitals.  So that in physical, you know, nation state interactions, you don't attack schools.  You don't attack women.  You don't attack children.  You have don't attack hospitals because the hospitals basically are, again, in this case, the CSIRTs are analysis to cyberspace hospitals.  That's where things are rebuilt, and the reconstruction, you know, putting ‑‑ basically getting the system to be better.

So that if it's affected by some kind of virus or malware, that's like a disease.  The hospital develops the vaccines or develops the cures and the hospital does the medical research, but the idea is that you shouldn't use hospitals in this case the CSIRTs for developing offensive capabilities and in return, other nations should respect that the hospitals or in this case the CSIRTs shouldn't be touched.

And very quickly and I will talk about this a little later but let me just touch on it, the confidence building measures really, the intent here is to ensure that we achieve some level of predictability.  It helps different nations seek ‑‑ or obtain and seek clarification on what is going on, because that's usually where misunderstanding or leading to conflicts happen.

The CSIRTs help in calming things down so that time is gained in order to do proper and in‑depth introspection and reflection before an action is taken.

It leads to improving of understanding and also helps the system, and that's now the global system, including states and regional bodies to reach some kind of enhanced maturity.

And finally, there are basically three general overarching types of confidence building measures.  We look at those that are information interaction and communication measures where states talk to each other.

The second type is actually the verification and the observation where some level of transparency is engaged by the various states so that others can see what they are doing, because sometimes seeing is believing.  And then the third type of confidence building measures is in the bucket of what we call constraints.  So that you just don't take precipitous action.  You are not careless.

So, again, while states are encouraged to have in place, you know, national legislation, remember, norms in and of themselves are voluntary.  And if we look at what has happened in laws of the sea, the laws of outer space, what other one I get oh, nuclear proliferation, some of these norms took decades to evolve into international law, but they did evolve.

So arguably, norms are soft laws.  They are voluntary.  But Africa needs to be parse and parcel of their development and also their articulation, because eventually they are likely to evolve into hard international laws that we must obey whether we like it or not.  And that's why it's crucial that Africa participates in those conversations, Africa has its own set of cyber diplomats who understand what is going on, who are able to advise the national governments and take these processes forward.  In the best nation ‑‑ in the best self‑interest or national security interest, of not just African nations and the African continents.  I will stop there.

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: Thank you very much, Abdul‑Hakeem.  I think two points got my attention.  I think it's the norms in themselves, they are not enough.  You into Ed to do capacity building around the norms and then the process of making sure that the norms are implemented is not necessarily a top down.  It can also work also bottom up in terms of Member States, you know, doing their job in terms of implying those norms.

The question to Vladimir now.  There's a lot of question about sovereignty, Vladimir, and now the digital technology globally.  How can the African dates have maximum benefit, bearing in mind the sovereignty and take a lesson learned from the other parts in the world.  What can be done to build the necessary trust in Africa?

>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Thank you, Adil.  It's really a pleasure to be considered an African.  It's an honor for me and a responsibility for me as well and I'm always happy to be in such a good company.

When I was thinking of that question initially, what came to my mind was a couple of opportunities and a couple of risks and I will start with opportunities.  I think we also ‑‑ what Alison mentioned, there are more elements to trusted just safety and security, and to my mind, turning technology into opportunities is also a good way to increase trust.

I will start with opportunities.  First one is Alison mentioned, the data.  And we know that I think Moctar at the beginning also mentioned.  As the Internet of Things is coming, the artificial intelligence, the virtual world and all of that, and, of course, as we are sort of under digitalization on steroids, data will be abundant and we will have a lot of data around that we have to somehow use, right, smartly.

Now Africa is such a big place on the earth with so many people, we'll definite be a producer and is already but it will be more and more vast amounts of data.  Certainly, the newcomers in Africa, which will connect will not start using the email.  They will start immediately from, I don't know, the Instagram or video games or whatever they would be around.

So the first thing is to make sure that Africa does not export the data, its own data as a raw material in a way.  Something like what has been in the history of Africa with diamonds and others things, but turn it into a process, export the process and see how to use the African data for particular applications that then you can export as a product to others.

I think there's a lot of opportunity with that, that will be learning with various industrial processes, traffic control, whatever you wish.  There will be a lot of opportunities to actually harness these data on the African soil and feed it into different applications then as a package you can export.  That's something that I see as a first opportunity.

And the second one is with all the emerging technologies, that we mentioned, I think creativity will be increasingly needed.  The technologies were most likely because of the circumstances still be advised in other places, in the US, in Japan, in China and the EU, maybe.  That's about it.  They have various infrastructures in place, funding and everything else to develop new technologies, unfortunately still.  But the implementation of these technologies will be ‑‑ will be increasingly important.  You have, you know, again, abundance of new technologies.  How do you implement it, creativity is something that will be key.  And to be honest, I see no other region than Africa.  Start with musics and arts, one of those behind me, the Kenyan art.  Start with even the technical services like Kampasa, which was an assessor of the digital currencies that we are talking to indicate.  So Africa has a huge potential on this creative part on the new applications and so on.

Then the two risks.  One is the cyber conflicts and this misuse of cyberspace by ‑‑ by governments in a way.  And Abdul‑Hakeem has mentioned much of that.  When Secretary General of the UN, I think it was a year ago, mentioned that he ‑‑ he's afraid that the new conflicts will actually start with cyber attacks.  I didn't read it as ‑‑ as a signal to the US/China relations or the US/Russian relations.  Those guys are quite cautious of what they are going to do because all‑out war ‑‑ they know what it means.

What I'm more concerned about is where the conflicts actually are today and they are mainly in Africa and Middle East, and Balkans, are and I would start with thinking how cybercrimes could actually escalate in war‑torn regions where the countries done necessarily understand issues of attribution, and that's one big concern.  The other big concern, certainly we can't stop the armament and the countries we know that the African countries are developing offensive capabilities to penetrate into other systems.  I guess we can't reduce no global trend.  What we can do is we make sure we reduce the vulnerability of cyberspace, that the gadgets we connect are less vulnerable and no one can exploit on them, particularly governments.

I can expand on a project.  And something else that we heard from Abdul‑Hakeem is the development of norms.  Confidence building measures.  Africa doesn't have any of the confidence building measures unlike Asian and even the Organization of American States.  They have some sort of CBMs being developed.  The least that Africa could do until maybe it develops its own CBMs or takes some of the existing ones would be, for instance to ‑‑ as African states endorse the GG norms that Abdul‑Hakeem mentioned.  The Asian countries did it on a ministerial level, but it doesn't change the rules of the game.

It may be voluntary.  But once the states endorse, it it's a different level.  That could be an easy way to go.  And to conclude as a bottom line, certainly the other risk is standards and we will see more of the conflicts on top of AI standards, 5G standards and interest net of things, and that will be a global technological war that I don't think any one of us will be able to skip, Africa included but you can do the best to be out of it to the largest possible extent.

So the bottom line is, engage more with diverse policy processes around the world, things are changing.

Define the rules of the games.  I think that's really something that needs to be done and I'm glad to hear also from Moctar things are moving in African.

Prioritize issues.  Abdul‑Hakeem mentioned, developing foreign affairs strategies on the national levels.  Understanding what are the priority topics for foreign affairs and diplomatic service is a key.

And finally capacity building that needs to be done simultaneously.  I will stop there.

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: Thank you.  I guess the cyber diplomats is an emerging theme from the speakers and I think this is something that the African Union would look into and see ‑‑ try to help the country how to implement the program advocating for cyber diplomats on the continent.

The next question goes to Nnenna, Dr. Nnenna.  Could the ratification of the Malabo Convention, with shared norm standards and principle providing a common voice and for trust building across the continent.  Moctar made mention of the Malabo Convention, could you tell us if that ‑‑ if the convention could be the answer for a united continent?

>> NNENNA IFEANYI-AJUFO: Thank you very much for this opportunity to engage with colleagues who are very much interested in the advancement of a trusted digital space in Africa.

Based on the question, indeed, in this age of cyber uncertainty, the ratification of the Malabo Convention is a huge measure towards an African regional consistency, like in terms of cybersecurity and data protection.  As Mr. Moctar rightly pointed out, the Malabo Convention is important regional investigation which if you like broadly covers data security and cybersecurity and a trusted place for electronic transactions.  So it encourages the policing of cyberspace and the protection of data through a unified regeneration framework.

(speaking non‑English).

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: Interpreters, I think you are getting into the live ‑‑ so continue.

>> NNENNA IFEANYI-AJUFO: Unfortunately, we in Africa have similarly failed to appreciate the value of protecting the critical infrastructure, protecting cyber ‑‑

(Speaking non‑English).

>> NNENNA IFEANYI-AJUFO: And we have failed to appreciate the digital rights.  Many African states have little or no data protection or regulation or even cybersecurity legislation.  So sometimes it seems like it's hardly a priority, where there exists some form of data protection regulation, there's so much disparity in implementation with no unified general approach.  The significance of the Malabo Convention depends on a large extent to its adoption ‑‑ (Speaking non‑English).

Depends to a large adoption of African states and that's why we need the common voice on norms and standards.  Africa must create their own cybersecurity and data protection agenda.  We must develop an African position.

And so for that, we need to clearly on cybersecurity and data protection and it's important that we pursue a unified approach and this is ‑‑ this is the significance of ratifying the Malabo Convention.  Of if we must project a corporate ‑‑ if we must reject ‑‑ (Speaking non‑English).

Now in as much as we promote digital sovereignty, digital cooperation remains fundamental in this age.  I was very happy when Mr. Abdul‑Hakeem was talking about the fact that we need mutual legal cooperation in Africa.  So this serves as regional and it may not continue to suffice.  I say this because cyberspace is not sighed to any geographically proximate location.  So it's impossible for African states to individually ensure cybersecurity without cooperation.  So it is important that we really look forward and look to how we must ensure cooperation in terms of ratifying the Malabo Convention.  Now the development of compatible and harmonized cybersecurity laws will be very important in terms of how we progress with the Malabo Convention, so that it will benefit and the development and the economy in Africa, especially in a time when we in after risk have decided to establish a single continental market.

Again, we must view the culture of safety and security for cyber activities and data protection and I always say that charity begins at home.  It doesn't begin with international conventions, which we would run out to ratify.  We must ratify that which is our own.

So finally, cybersecurity and data protection are and will always remain an integral and indivisible part of this digital resolution.  We need to work towards building a trusted African digital space which is necessary for our social, nor our economic, and for our political development as well.

And issue comments from the ratification of the Malabo Convention.  Thank you very much.

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: Thank you very much, Nnenna.  I think just a follow‑up question to you, maybe you or Moctar, what is the status of the ratification and how far do we need to go until the convention becomes a law?

>> MOCTAR YEDALY: If the question is addressed to me and I will tell you that so far, 10 out of 15 ratification.

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: So we have five to go?

>> MOCTAR YEDALY: We have five to go.  And the African Union cybersecurity expert has put in front of themselves the challenge to have the ratification happen by 2020.  That was before COVID‑19.  Now, the COVID‑19 has changed everything and unfortunately we will not be able to meet that target.

But, again, we are too close, and we hope that it will be early next year be able to have that 15 ratifications to have this convention into force.  Over to you.

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: Yes.  I also want to take this opportunity to call out our audience, to encourage their countries to ratify the Malabo Convention, I think it's important as Dr. Nnenna mentioned, to have harmonized legal framework on the continent, so that we can start, you know, the digital ‑‑ the real digital transformation in Africa, including the e‑trade, the cross‑border collaboration.  Thank you very much.

I think ‑‑ I know that people are very eager to ask questions.  I think keep asking questions on the comment line.  I think we are ‑‑ we are very close to starting the questions from ‑‑ fielding questions from the comment line but I think we have just a couple of questions remaining for all panelists before we open the Q&A session.

Back to you, Moctar.  You know, COVID‑19 has been a significant crisis that impacted the whole world, but in Africa, I think the digital currencies prove to be a life line during this pandemic.  What kind of structure should the African state put in place, in policies and strategies in a trusted digital currency environment?

>> MOCTAR YEDALY: Thank you very much for this question.  Let me just remind everybody that what is so‑called mobile banking.  It starts in Africa, not by Africans and then it becomes an African trademark and now everybody is using the mobile banking and mobile transactions outside of the continent.  And primarily this is a good thing that actually something is being exported out Africa knowledge, capacity, is being exported out of Africa, not like just raw material and data, probably.

Now, having said that, the mobile banking and the digital currencies could be the option for financial inclusion for most of our citizens, however, this is required in the context of our discussion, trust the needed infrastructure, soft and hard need to be put into place in order to have the African continent enjoying those applications surrounding the financial transactions.  Unfortunately, two things have not happened.  There's not yet a bottom up approach for that.  Member States have not yet expressed an interest to really have policy and/or regulation adopted at the continental level or the national level with regard to this matter.

And there is not yet a top down approach from the African Union to push for those kind of policy and regulatory framework that are necessary for starting using this.  We are facing a very critical situation.  There's not yet the infrastructure.  Nor the frameworks but it is time for us to start thinking about it.  Most of the people went from what we call the hard currencies and then the plastic card and then our evolution for the digital currency.  We need to jump that intermediary step which is the plastic card, the credit card and so on.  And only very good leadership ‑‑ African leadership will help to really try to put Africa on that.

I know there is an enormous amount of challenges.  Part of our Member States still haven't set had the financial currency independence.  Some of them are using currency that are printed outside of the continent.

Some countries don't have a Minister of Finance.  But, again, we need to break this wall in going through that ‑‑ to go straight away and really start pushing for not only an African currency, but also digital African currency.  Over to you.

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: Thank you very much, Moctar.  Back to you, Alison, I think.  You touch upon this subject, which is the tension between rights and securities and I think we have been missing now a lot of issues popping up from fake news, cyber service providers tourism, shutdowns and, and you name it.

I think how can we get the right balance in this equation in the context of all that is going on.  Some countries are now extremely getting impatient and then there is a concern that there's going to be fragmentation because of all of this tension.

Can you shed more light on this subject?

You are muted, Alison.

>> ALISON GILLWALD: Sorry., again.

Adil, may take this opportunity to answer the excellent question in the chat.  It relates to what I will be tucking about.

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: I think we can do that after we finish.  If it's related then maybe, yeah, you can go ahead.

>> ALISON GILLWALD: And it follows on from what I said earlier about the ability of countries to leverage the African ‑‑ the continental free trade agreement is the degree to which they are digitally ready.  I think the important point about the excellent question is the interrelationships from a global governance perspective and the different multilateral associations going on.  One the issues I was making and the point I was making in the beginning and I want to pick up now, is trust has several dimensions to, it but it has tended to be equated with cybersecurity on the one hand and it's tended to be equated with the eCommerce debate on the others and that was the early eCommerce debates where we were talking about a small piece of the economy online.  What we are talking about now in terms of the digital economy is the digitalization of the entire economy.  The economy is ‑‑ the contemporary economy is digital and that's why it's so important that it's not just about creating trusted online systems or trusted retail systems or financial systems.  The whole ‑‑ ball of these critical infrastructures, the trust and the security within them is now interdependent and it goes back to the important point that's been emphasized by a number of speakers on the need for a transversal policy that will deal with these different people, between the different rights.

I think these tensions can be managed if one has, you know, right spaced, and people‑centered transparent institutions and policies, policy processes and implementation processes that are accountable and people have resource to the courts and law and those kinds of things.  So I think they can be managed but we do have somewhat of a tension in terms of individual and collective rights least, probably but I think also on individual rights, between freedom of expression, which is effectively, you know, they can't decide to privacy protections and which data protections, building the democracy.  Internet says this is an enabler of freedom of rights and it's a critical aspect of that and building trust in our institutions.  If our institutions are transparent, if people can ‑‑ if there's an open data regime that people can see data user to build businesses, et cetera, this is all about the openness that we would see.  But there are tensions around, for example, individual rights to privacy, they have become amplified under COVID with people concerned about their private information, their health information.  (Overlapping speakers).

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: Interpreter, you are getting in the live feed.

>> ALISON GILLWALD: Translator, I think you are crossing lines.

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: Agree.  Go ahead.

>> ALISON GILLWALD: I think we have rights frameworks that can manage these different things.  That's very important.  Obviously, there's certain things that we can do at the national level and the global level and I think it's really important to understand data, the internet as global public goods that need to be realized at the global level and these global public goods.  The cybersecurity, the international cybersecurity system is only as strong as the weakest link.  They realize this and they put a lot of money into capacity building and that sort of thing, but the African governments need to realize that they have to take responsibility for the realization of those public goods at the national level and various things, you will not realize.  Cybersecurity is one of them.  Data protection is another.

As I said, it's very important to have a data protection framework in place that's that provides enough privacy to prevent the harms from the information that we are seeing that allow them to access that information, but also to mitigate the Ritz that's accompany these massive now data collection systems that are on our global platforms and our monopoly platforms that are currently more or less not accountable to anyone.

Working at the national level, the establishment of information regulators and I think the establishment of a grand coordinator mechanism is a very positive move.  The implementation can only be done through global cooperation because they operate in a global system.

The collaboration at the continental level could strengthen the regional response to this and, align and engage with international regulators who are equally new and struggling with this for the protection for data of elections and the manipulation of governments, and enable eCommerce and to flourish but that really requires people getting ‑‑ gaining trust in the system based on the technical elements that you need to in order to provide a safe and secure Internet ‑‑ the trust comes from the enforcement of rights.

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: Hello?  I think we lost Alison.

>> ALISON GILLWALD: Can you hear me?

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: Yes, we can hear you now.

>> ALISON GILLWALD: Sorry, Adil, I'm not quite sure where you lost me.

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: The last sentence.  Your last sentence.  Your last sentence.  I think we get the gist of is.  I thank you very much.  There is a question on the chat line.

(Speaking French).

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: I think we have some interference from the interpreters coming into the live feed.

My final question, COVID‑19 pandemic, many services went online, including the education for our kids and now they are online and, of course, the risk of child exploitations and what kind of measures that we need to make sure are in place, that we make sure that our children are protected online?

>> NNENNA IFEANYI-AJUFO: I think we put it mildly when we talk about online safety for children.  So basically we say sexual exploitation and radicalization, but then a lot more is going on in terms of child abuse, child trafficking online, child pornography, access to online pornography by children, illicit content and even online gambling targeted at children.

And essentially, your question actually highlights a point to safeguard the interest of children.

And I will approach this question from a three‑away approach, looking at responsible parenting.  If there was a hierarchy parent, I would say responsible parenting in this age.

And it takes me back to why I said we need a unified approach when I was talking about the Malabo Convention.

Unfortunately, what is criminalized in terms of online safety for children, is different when you come to different jurisdictions in Africa.  You find that there's no unified standard for the conception of age when you talk about the age for child pornography and what is criminalized in terms of child pornography.  There's no unified approach.  In some it's possession and sometimes it's distribution.  And so we must have a unified approach in solving this issue and then we must put online safety for children on the agenda as a policy and strategy priority.  We are so focused on curbing electronic and we neglect many aspects in cyberspace.  In as much as we have ratified so many child rights conventions, we must develop distinct policies specifically targeted at online safety for children at the regional level, the subregional and even international level.  And policies are not just to be left alone for governments.  We should have policies for schools, for Internet service providers and for companies and all of that and we must focus on implementation, on enforcement because even if we have these strategies.  We tick the boxes and we must look at implementing them.  One of the ways to implement strategies focused on online safety for children is reporting.  We hardly have reporting mechanisms in Africa for child protection when you talk about child protection in the digital age.

We also do not have statistics in Africa.  We hardly know what is going on.  The result was that since that paper was released, you have 25,000 offensive images with children online and that every day you have about 90 cybercrimes targeted at children.  Now you beg to imagine what would be happening in Africa.

We need to have our own statistics as well and how we progress and sharing online safety.  Digital companies have to be responsible and governments must take responsibility for ensuring that digital companies are accountable and we can old ISP providers accountable as well in how we protect the children online.  If companies are held accountable, it will ensure the framework for tackling the comprehensive set of online harms.  It's for illegal activities and content, behaviors and things harmful to children.  Now because of time, I will quickly talk about parenting.  Parents must get involved and know what online safety means and sharing parental controls.  Schools must understand what online safety means as well and maybe think in terms of including cybersecurity in their education.  I can't emphasize it enough, education, education, education.  When we educate, we take a people‑centered approach.

If laws are there, it becomes stagnant if they are not aware of these policies or these laws.  And so education must take on a multi‑stakeholder approach.  The parents should be aware.  The teachers should be aware.  The children should also be aware, including governments and companies so that we can as we progress, even after the COVID‑19 pandemic in terms of education, in terms of policy, in terms of our cultural understandings and our cultural perspectives, we will ‑‑ (Speaking French).

 ‑‑ ensuring that we safeguard the online space for our children.

And ensure their safety.

Thank you.

Thank you, Adil.

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: Thank you very much.  You were able to make it despite the interruptions.

Now I hand it ‑‑ I hand the mic to my to ‑‑ (Overlapping speakers).

>> HANANE BOUJEMI: Good afternoon, everyone.  I just want to ‑‑ (Overlapping speakers) if the interpreters would use the French channel, please.  Not to interfere with this session in English.

So just a couple of things.  We tried to make this session as interactive as possible, and to update everyone this is a webinar format which means most of the attendees are not able to see the number of participants.  So we have ‑‑ (Overlapping speakers).

33 attendees and 15 panelists including our esteemed speakers and the technical teams working on this project.  So we have a number of contributions from the attendees and I would like to encourage everybody to use the Q&A window in order to ask their questions or provide comments.  I will try to list the this in chronological order, including commentary and in some cases or in most cases, actually, the question are general and not allocates to a specific ‑‑

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: Hanane, we lost you?

>> HANANE BOUJEMI: Hello, can you hear me now?

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: Yes, we can hear you now.

>> HANANE BOUJEMI: So the comments are general and not specifically allocated to a speaker.  I would like to maybe recite first commentary is from Jimson.

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: I think your French ‑‑ the French channel, please, I think we need no hear the English.  I think there is a mix‑up.  Had the core nation, can you please go to the French.

>> HANANE BOUJEMI: Thank you.  So first comment is from Mr.  ‑‑ I will display this again my Word document.  So Mr. Jimson thinks that the borderless of the Internet implies that any server can be probed from anywhere around the world.  If it is unguarded or unsecured, it can be easily accessed and exploited.  If there is borders, especially when it comes to persecution of cross border cybercrimes, the national laws can apply.

So I think any of the panelists can probably address this specific notion where people in general think that if there's borders, it's easier to apply national laws to cybercrime.

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: And the rule if you want to intervene be, you can physically raise your question ‑‑ your hand and then you can answer the question.  So if we don't have somebody assigned on the questions, the panelists can raise their hands and answer the questions if they wish.

>> HANANE BOUJEMI: So anybody wish to take which comment/question from our panelists?

>> ABDUL-HAKEEM AJIJOLA: May I quickly address that?

>> HANANE BOUJEMI: Please go ahead.

>> ABDUL-HAKEEM AJIJOLA: Basically, I think Dr. Jimson is correct, but the key thing is that nation states are limited by jurisdiction, whether a server is guarded or unsecure.  One, they don't have the right or the authority to interrogate it, and more importantly, the nation state in which that infrastructure is located, that has jurisdiction, would certainly take exception, and that is actually what leads to international misunderstandings.

So really it gets very complicated.  For example, I reflect several years ago, there was a group of come artists based in Holland who were duping Canadian farmers.  They routed their illegally gotten gains through Bermuda or one of these countries and ended up spending much of the money in Paris.

Because these young men, this gang was actually African, the gang of their scam was Nigerian.  They were Ghanaian.  And the jurisdictional claims can be complicated.  The gang was based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and the victims were based in Canada.  The proceeds were laundered through Bermuda or the Bahamas or somewhere like that and the proceeds or the spending of so these illicit gains was in Paris.  And Africa was nowhere in the loop.  The point is if you call it a Nigerian 419 scam, even though they were Ghanaians, the Nigerians have no right to interfere in a case.  Who would have primary jurisdiction?  Is it where the criminals are located?  Is it where the victims are?  Is it where the money was transacted?  Or is it where the money was actually spent?

So it does get complicated but I think the key notion of Dr. Jimson is correct that at the end of the day in order for you to deal with these kinds of crimes, you need international cross‑border, not just cooperation but collaboration.

Thank you.

>> HANANE BOUJEMI: Thank you very much, Abdul‑Hakeem.

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: I see Vladimir has his hand raised.

>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Been the norms, basically, the discussion on the applicability of the international law, there is a dialogue on due diligence by the states.  So whether the states are obliged to prevent attacks coming from their it territory.  And these attacks are coming from their territory.  We need to agree how the countries ‑‑ there is a norm about that, how the countries react when an attack comes from there.

>> HANANE BOUJEMI: Thank you.  I can see that the panelists are already addressing some of the questions.  We will try to go through the ones that are not addressed.  I think we have one that was early listed by Maurillia and Dr. Alison already elaborated on that.

I don't know if the panels have any more maybe input on the question of the World Trade Organization and the African free trade agreement contribution by Maurillia.

>> ALISON GILLWALD: Perhaps I could just elaborate a little bit on that.  I see that she did respond.  I think these issues that really require international cooperation in order to deal with the cross jurisdictional issues really ‑‑ you know, they are complex.  They are intersecting and I think Maciel makes a point, on the moratorium on the eCommerce negotiations and the differing positioning of different countries in Africa, and the complete lack of response, and how this impacts on the African continent or the free trade agreement which is now committed to looking at eCommerce in the next round of negotiations, that was previously not on the agenda.  Obviously these global developments are ‑‑ have enormous impact on each other.

To the point of dealing with cross‑jurisdictional issues whether they are security issues or content issues, fake news issues.  Cambridge analytical disruption, abuse of data governance for disruption of elections, these can really only be dealt with by, you know, the information regulator in the UK, actually taking a position against Facebook because that's where data was released and fining them appropriately.

I would just urge us to engage far more actively in these international negotiations and not because they always necessarily suit us or what is being proposed but at the moment, essentially, we are not only recipients of the outcomes of those which often don't represent our interests, but we also need to be far more participatory in actually setting the agendas.  So at the moment, we might collaborate on certain aspects, but what we would need to do even more and obviously through efforts of the African Union, is actually begin to set the agendas on these things.

As I said these issues of data governance, these are new issues for all countries.  There's no reason why Africans shouldn't be representing those interests very early on and actually setting the agendas on these things.

>> HANANE BOUJEMI: Thank you, Dr. Alison.  And the next contribution is actually a question from Mr. Peter King, and his question is related to the Malabo Convention, and it feeds into Mr. Hasan's question and I will combine them and it's for Mr. Moctar to address these questions on the efforts that African Union is deploying to promote the Malabo Convention and also to ensure that more countries are actually signing this very important instrument.

So Mr. Yedaly, would you like to share this?

>> MOCTAR YEDALY: Well, I believe for the last three years ‑‑ actually four years, since the assigning of the Malabo Convention, in Malabo in 2014, there's nothing that the African Union Commission has not done to have this ‑‑ this 15 ratifications.  That starts every year in the Marching of the summit of the head of state, there is advocacy activity that's undertaken to promote the convention and request the leadership to take into consideration the Malabo Convention and sign it and our legal council is opening every year a session for signing documents and we have more signing than ratifications.  Now one has to understand that there is two steps.  One is the signing, which is most of the Member States have done.  They have done more than 25 signature probably, however, the ratification is an international process that is valid from country to country.

And sometimes within the country, there is no priority for really putting that forward to organizers in charge the ratification process and some countries they have to go through the parliament.

In some countries it has to be led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs rather than the minister of ICT.  So every country depend and has its own process.

We have been promoting this at every single ministry conference, every single workshop, every single situation that we use, like this one and other webinars, but unfortunately, there's something that is happening at the national level that needs somebody within the country to take the leadership, the department in charge of that and push it through the parliament or through the ratification channels within the country in order to do that.

But, again, we will continue with the help of everybody.  We will not give up on this, but we will continue again.

The good thing is no one ever has said anything or put any reservation on the ratification itself, the content, and the usefulness, the principles that are there.  So that is the good thing.

The bad news is nobody is taking care of, you know, the process itself.

So ‑‑ but we'll continue to push.  Over to you.

>> HANANE BOUJEMI: Thank you very much, Mr. Moctar Yedaly.

There is many more questions on the Malabo Convention, but may I shift a little bit.

>> MOCTAR YEDALY: Go ahead, shoot, shoot, shoot and please give me ‑‑ give me just Moctar, not Mr. Yedaly.

>> HANANE BOUJEMI: Okay, Moctar.

>> MOCTAR YEDALY: I love that.

>> HANANE BOUJEMI: I'm trying to take the questions in chronological order, but yes, it makes sense to link to the Malabo Convention.  The next question is the effort to work basically with the RECs and what type of collaboration and coordination is happening at the moment between UC and the RECs?

>> MOCTAR YEDALY: That's a very good question.  I have heard this question somewhere else.

Now, again ‑‑ and the regional economic communities, the eight of them that are recognized by the African Union are considered the building blocks of the integration of the African continent, principle number one.

Principle number two, they asserted they are considered as part of the whole AU process in terms of adoptions of text and implementation of policy and decisions.  Every year, there is a meeting between the leadership of the RECs and the African Union.  Every year.

At my level which is in the ‑‑ not the level of the commissioners, for instance, we have included the RECs in every single project we are taking care of.  Every time there is a project that requires the implementation at the national level the RECs are sitting in the steering committee of that project.  So there's a very good cooperation at the technical level, at the high level.  We're probably in the middle management, at the level of commissioners and so on and then we are working on that.

But comment that RECs are ‑‑ they don't have a boss like the African Union chairperson is not their not boss.  They have their Member States and they have their rules, but we tend to use all the agreement that has been signed between us as an African Union Commission and the RECs and every one of them have signed very good memorandum of understanding about how to work together and how to implement things.

And we hope that we will continue to learn from the processes and create and enhance our cooperation in order to implement projects and decisions and policy at the regional level, using the bottom down approach and ‑‑ bottom up approach and top down approaches.  Over to you.

>> HANANE BOUJEMI: Thank you very much, Moctar and we do have a number of very good suggestions on the chat window about how to promote the Malabo Convention at the local level and beyond that the official ministerial meetings.  I think have one suggestion to allocate focal points in each country where work is needed, and I think that's a very good suggestion to take into account.

>> MOCTAR YEDALY: Can I respond to that?

>> HANANE BOUJEMI: Of course you can.

>> MOCTAR YEDALY: Well, there was a suggestion from some RECs to have the African Union chairperson writing directly to their chairs, but also remember, that the PRIDA has national focal points in each and every country.  We have now out of the 55 members of the AU, I believe we do have something that approaches the 50s.  So we have a good number of focal points and that is a good suggestion and I'm inviting the PRIDA project managers, and some of them are now here, in participating and listening to review that opportunity to help us to promote the Malabo Convention, using those focal points that are designed ‑‑ designated in the framework of PRIDA, but if there is a need for a specific focal point on cybersecurity, you will be allowed to do that.  You will be open.

>> HANANE BOUJEMI: Now that you are presenting the PRIDA program, we have two questions and I think we do have the team present in this session, and they can address the question on what is the role of PRIDA in developing the local capacity of CERTs in Africa and I will merge it with the question on how PRIDA could assist the OSC in accelerating the capacity building in Africa.

Adil?

>> MOCTAR YEDALY: No, no, let me address that too.

>> HANANE BOUJEMI: Okay.  Perfect.

>> MOCTAR YEDALY: The design of the PRIDA did not really address the matter of cybersecurity and that is because not ‑‑ not because of our willingness to do it, but because of the funding part from our partners.  Which PRIDA is 100% funded by the European Union and been the European Unions, the departments who are dealing with the PRIDA have never dealt with the cybersecurity issue and that's why it did not address the issue of cybersecurity.  That doesn't mean that they don't have programs related to the cybersecurity.

As we speak, I currently design a program on how to help each and every country to have their answer.  We are in the assessment phase and we believe ‑‑ with believe we are in the assessment phase and we believe before the end of the year, we will be able to mobilize resources to help our Member States.  Remember, we have three objectives, one is cyber strategy and we have three pillars of over to you.

>> HANANE BOUJEMI: I would like to remind everyone to keep their eyes on the chat.  There's an interesting discussion between Marila, and Alison to the cybersecurity strategies.

I will take a question from Mr. Xing Lee, and he asked about the institutional arrangements for transborder data flow to support the data flows again the COVID‑19 pandemic.

I don't know who of our panelists.  I think Mr. Abdul‑Hakeem is raising his hand.  Maybe you want to take this question Dr. Abdul?

>> ABDUL-HAKEEM AJIJOLA: Actually, I don't want to take that particular question, because I don't have a good answer.  As a very, very important question.  Forgive me.

Really the area I wanted to touch on was something that ‑‑ hello.

>> HANANE BOUJEMI: Yes, we can hear you loud and clear.

>> ABDUL-HAKEEM AJIJOLA: Okay.  Okay.  The area I wanted to touch on is an area that I think is a bit uncomfortable for us and probably something the African Union itself would not want to directly speak about.  Why are African nations hesitating in adopting and ratifying.  I think that Moctar has outlined some cogent reasons.  And the other reasons, such as the Malabo Convention in some ways would put some restraints now for many of us, positive restraints on African governments, but governments don't see them positive.  As we speak in Nigeria, we are debating or rather the national assembly is debating legislation to be imposed on social media, and so some of those potential legislations might be at variance with the privacy provisions of the Malabo Convention.  And this is one of the key reasons why some African countries are a bit hesitant.

Now, of course, you still to need to continue the awareness so they see a bigger picture and they understand that some ever these limitations on social media will impact negatively on the development of the digital economy.  Part of the onus is on us to educate them.

Don't forget, one or two African countries have imposed Internet shutdowns.  I think it's important to realize that some of these notions and ideas may not be well aligned with the aspirations and intent of the Malabo Convention.  So while as great as the Malabo Convention is, as necessary and as important as it is, I think it's also important to understand that there might be some underlying hesitation, because of theism pack of social media.  Many governments blame social media to embark on demonstrations.  Meanwhile, the African leaders are not solving the underlying ‑‑ the real underlying problems that make people or drive people to go and demonstrate.  We have to keep this in mind.  Thank you.

>> HANANE BOUJEMI: Thank you very much.  Just to remind everyone, we have four minutes left on this situation and we have five questions open questions.  I see that ‑‑ we need to wrap up this session as well.  Please go ahead.

>> NNENNA IFEANYI-AJUFO: Okay and at the same time, I will touch on the question of GDPR.  Thank you Mr. Abdul‑Hakeem.  I will follow on on that point.  I understand that this is more of political concerns but then we must not excuse behavior that is not responsible by states and it takes me to discuss the GDPR, now the GDPR in Europe, actually affects individual states' concerns and behaviors but at the same time, it's been implemented.  So I think it goes back to states understanding what is responsible, and I think the Malabo Convention is trying to achieve that.

So there are older legislations in other parts the world which have been implemented and states ratify those.  We can understand why the states do what they do and it goes back to the style of governance in Africa.

I will stop there because I have 30 seconds.

>> HANANE BOUJEMI: Thank you very much.

I think Mr. Xing Lee still doesn't have his question answered on the arrangements ‑‑

>> NNENNA IFEANYI-AJUFO: Can I talk on that?  Sorry.  We have never needed, you know, cooperation, transborder data flow as much as we need it now to cope with the pandemic, addressing it from the self‑perspective.  And institutional frameworks will work very well in ensuring transborder, particularly from parts of Africa, which at times we feel that the pandemic rate is under reported.  So, yes, if there is that institutional framework, it will allow the global caption.  And it goes back ‑‑ cooperation and it goes back to Abdul‑Hakeem touched upon it from an international perspective.  We must look at that collaboration if I can take the word he used, and push further for a transborder regulated unified transborder flow of data.

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: Hanane.  We are almost out of time.  And I think there were a couple of questions that were very pertinent and important.  Number one question, I think I just go quickly to answer these two questions.  One question pertaining to having subsector of the economy.  The second question pertains to ‑‑ if I just get my thought clear.  Yeah.  What models do the African ‑‑ it's considered ‑‑ the governments that we consider the US model or the China models.  With err not considering either.  We are trying to do our own model.

So I'm going to assume that Nnenna and Abdul‑Hakeem spoke to this.  And so 30 minutes, please to wrap up the ‑‑ to give your final closing comments.  Thank you very much.

>> MOCTAR YEDALY: You mean 30 seconds, not 30 minutes.

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: 30 seconds.  Yes.

>> MOCTAR YEDALY: Because 30 minutes, I can stay here and talk about whatever.

>> HANANE BOUJEMI: We have an extra five minutes.

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: 30 seconds.  You have to take that.

>> MOCTAR YEDALY: Well, the issue of trust is extremely important as Africans to really ‑‑ (Speaking French) ‑‑ our development issues.  We cannot allow ourselves to miss the opportunity to use the ICT ‑‑ (Overlapping speakers).

(Speaking French).

Adil, could you assign him as an interpreter.

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: Can you stop interpretation for now, because this is just the final comments from the panelists.

>> MOCTAR YEDALY: Okay.  I was saying just quickly that Africa cannot allow itself to miss the opportunity of digitalization in order to address its development in different way.

We have been conceiving our educations approach for the last 50 years and we still haven't met the minimum requirement and so we have in the health sector, et cetera.

The ICTs have the opportunity in order to really change that, leap frog in every sector we wanted, and hence we need for that very stable trusted digital space and enhance the issue of trust and cybersecurity in the service is extremely vital and important.

I said at the beginning, it's the digital transformation is really a survival opportunity for us as Africans.  Over to you.

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: Thank you very much.  Alison?

>> ALISON GILLWALD: Absolutely, Moctar.  And absolutely critical to post‑COVID reconstruction.  If we don't put this in place, we have an opportunity now to kill the slate and get things in place and start again.

I wanted to quickly build on what Nnenna and Abdul said about the data flows and the lack of responsiveness to the Malabo Convention.  COVID‑19 has really just highlighted things that we needed to have in place anyway.  So the importance about COVID for the cross‑border flows of data for COVID purposes, is just ‑‑ it just highlights the need for us to have it full commerce, you know, full research, full public health.  So these are just things that really emphasize our need to do.  That making that possible means having regimes that are harmonized and having regimes that can offer reciprocal protections, safety and security protections, data protections and then, of course, rights frameworks which really goes to the question that was going on in the discussion and Abdul was responding to in relation to the Malabo Convention and the accession to it.  At the moment, we are getting security to the security and the conventional side.  There's a freedom of expression that will build the trust for the digital economy and society.  It will prevent the known harms that we know accompany it without anonymized information, without data protections and it will highlight the data that that's what you need to build trust in these environments.  The data governance systems, the data government systems provide us with some of the risks that we know are there.  Unless we put in these in place, we are not ‑‑ we are simply not going to get the benefits that the digital transformation is pushing for.

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: Many thanks.  Vladimir.

>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Simply to ask for two hours for this conversation.  I like it.

But I think it's more of a priority to have states more informed and involved in the dialogue through African Union, rather than necessarily going for a position, because, I mean, European Union doesn't have common position on many things, yet it's raising the states who can actually be able to get more involved in the national dialogue, synchronize their own work and position within the union and that's wait to step up.

The second comment is related to Nnenna and I think it's the key, is the enforcement.  We can have as many papers and documents as we want, but if it stays a dead piece of paper, it doesn't make any sense.  I come from Balkans.  I know how it works.  We just tick the box.  We have many policies.  It doesn't get implemented.  There are so many things that we can do on the lower level, while developing the framework and the policies and one of those, I mentioned is security the devices and the environment.  There are many things we should be talking about how Africa with boost trust beyond just coming to the documents which is necessary.  Back to you.

>> ADIL ISMAIL SULIEMAN: Thank you very much, Vladimir.  There's some concern by the people who ask questions that the question, I think we can answer the question after the session:  Thank you very much for participating and actively contributing to this very rich discussion.  We apologize for the timing.  I think we have very short time, but I hope ‑‑ we are glad that we addressed some of the key issues that have been presented here.  And I want to thank you very much for your participation and have a nice evening.  Thank you very much.

 

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