Fight against cybercrime: The ECOWAS Commission hands over equipment to Benin to strengthen the capacities of its police.
The ECOWAS Commission proceeded on Tuesday, February 1, 2022 to the official handover of the equipment of the digital investigation laboratory to the Government of Benin. The ceremony took place on the premises of the National Information Systems Security Agency (ANSSI), a structure attached to the Presidency of the Republic and which coordinates all activities related to cybersecurity and the fight against cybercrime, in the presence of representatives of the Ministry of the Interior and Public Security, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and the Ministry of Digital and Digitization. The leaders of the project “Organized Crime: West Africa’s response to cybersecurity and the fight against cybercrime” (OCWAR-C) and the European Union, which finances this project, also took part in the ceremony.
The Director General of ANNSI, in his opening remarks, welcomed the various delegations and expressed Benin's gratitude to the ECOWAS Commission which responded favorably to the request made by the Government within the framework of the OCWAR-C project to strengthen the operational capacities of ANSSI. He recalled that cybersecurity is a priority for the high authorities of Benin. Commissioner Zouli Bonkoungou, in charge of Telecommunications and Information Technologies of the ECOWAS Commission, on behalf of the President of the ECOWAS Commission, HE Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, pointed out that the increased use of digital technologies have fostered the presence of more malicious actors who exploit vulnerabilities in the internet to their own advantage. These illicit activities have caused a financial loss of $6 trillion in 2021 globally, $2 billion in sub-Saharan Africa and millions of US dollars to several ECOWAS Member States. He also commended the efforts already made by the Government of Benin in the fight against cybercrime and the strengthening of its cyberspace and urged it to make good use of the equipment in order to achieve the objectives set in terms of digitalization. Finally, he thanked the European Union for its financial support, Expertise France, the agency implementing the OCWAR-C project, and the various partners involved in the project.
In his speech, the head of the Central Office for the Repression of Cybercrime (OCRC) said he was very satisfied because the police officers will not only see their capacities reinforced in the field of digital investigation, but also that the The tools received will facilitate the identification, preservation, examination and analysis of digital evidence obtained from crime scenes and will help national and international cooperation. The Deputy Director of Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, on behalf of his supervising Minister, recalled the texts adopted and the structures created by the government of Benin to strengthen the security of its cyberspace. He welcomed the implementation of the OCWAR-C project which will undoubtedly contribute to reducing financial losses related to cybercrime in Benin. The Secretary General of the Ministry of Digital and Digitalization, on behalf of the Minister, thanked ECOWAS and the European Union for their commitment to support Benin and all Member States in the fight against cybercrime. He also recalled the efforts of ANNSSI, and finally mentioned that cybersecurity and the fight against cybercrime are important axes of Benin's national digital security strategy while ensuring that ECOWAS makes good use of the equipment. received. This official handover of equipment from the digital investigation laboratory was followed by a visit by ANSSI and a technical meeting with stakeholders to validate the 2022 work plan for ECOWAS Commission support in Benin with a view to to contribute to the strengthening of cybersecurity and the fight against cybercrime in West Africa.
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