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Adopt human right approach to cybersecurity-CSOs tell African leaders

By Suru Charles

Calls for the African governments to promote and advance a human rights-respecting approach in their cybersecurity law and policy-making, have been made by Representatives of African civil society organizations.

The call, as noticed by The Trumpet, came via a press statement made available to our Taraba state correspondent on Monday by Media Rights Agenda (MRA).

Signed by the Communication Officer, Idowu Adewale “cybersecurity issues” they said, “have the potential to affect peoples’ well-being, rights and other aspects of human existence”.

The call came from a meeting held in Banjul, The Gambia, at a one-day session, which was convened by Media Rights Agenda (MRA) at the 2022 NGO Forum held on the margins of the 73rd Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the 35th commemoration of the Commission.

The resolution adopted at the end of the said session was said to have led to the call on African governments to play a more active role in the ongoing work of the UN Open-Ended Working Group on the security of and the use of information and communications technologies (OEWG).

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The move, as made known by them, is geared at ensuring that African perspectives and voices are well-reflected in the outcome of the process while also protecting the interests of African countries and their citizens.

In engaging international treaty and policy processes, African governments should build multi-stakeholder partnerships and delegations.

This they believed would ensure that the diverse competencies and expertise among the different stakeholder groups, which exist at the national and regional levels, are adequately harnessed to advance and protect African interests.”

They were also observed to have called for greater collaboration between African governments and civil society organizations to create awareness among citizens and the entire populations of African countries of cybersecurity issues as the involvement and engagement by ordinary citizens are critical to the successful campaign for and realization of cybersecurity.

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