The ECOWAS Commission, in the framework of the project Organized Crime: West African Response on Cybersecurity and fight against Cybercrime” (OCWAR-C) and in collaboration with the Council of Europe and INTERPOL, held a training of trainers workshop on E- Evidence and First Responders in Praia, Cape Verde, July 25-29, 2022.
Reliance on information and communications technology is more pervasive in society, with increased use of personal devices across the region.
This has necessitated the need for law enforcement entities to develop the necessary capabilities to ensure that the efficient investigation and handling of digital evidence is carried out to appropriate standards.
In her opening remarks, Ms. Folake Olagunju Senior Program Officer Internet, Cybersecurity and Electronic Applications at the ECOWAS Commission on behalf of Mr. Sediko Douka, Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy and Digitization, underlined the importance of having a coordinated approach and towards a more secure ECOWAS cyberspace.
She highlighted the need for participants to share their national perspectives and experiences, as this was an opportunity to build bridges and lay the groundwork for cooperation regarding future partnerships.
Although she wanted the training to be interactive, she ended up emphasizing the need to build human capacity in a consistent and harmonized manner throughout the region.
The deputy head of the EU delegation in Cape Verde, Ignacio Sobrino Castello, recalled the objectives of the OCWAR-C project, which is to support the strengthening of the cyberspace of the beneficiary countries and the capacities in the fight against cybercrime.
He spoke about the EU’s ongoing developments in Cape Verde on cybersecurity and on the fight against cybercrime and on the digital economy in general.
He highlighted the need to improve cooperation between ECOWAS member states and the ECOWAS commission and international partners.
He ended by encouraging everyone’s active participation.
On behalf of the Secretary of State for the Digital Economy of Cape Verde, Mr. Joel Almeida, Advisor to the Secretary, welcomed all participants to Cape Verde and reaffirmed Cape Verde’s commitment to play its role in the cyber ecosystem of the region.
He indicated that Cape Verde’s national cybersecurity strategy contains concrete implementation actions that are in line with the ECOWAS regional cyber strategy adopted in 2021.
He also stated that the national cybersecurity center and the CSIRT-CV are underway.
Finally, he praised the organization of the upcoming first ECOWAS Hackerlab Regional Challenge scheduled to be held on October 10-12, 2022 as a great opportunity to bring the community together to spark interest in the current challenges of keeping our region cyber-secure and as a means to find young talent who are ready to be the next generation of skilled cybersecurity workers.
Prior to the face-to-face training workshop, which consisted of advising and understanding the contents and principles of electronic evidence collection for first responders, participants participated in a short three-week private online course to equip them with the knowledge and skills to design and evaluate learner-focused training following INTERPOL training standards.
The OCWAR-C project is funded by the European Union and the objectives are to improve the resilience and robustness of the information infrastructure in the Member States; increase the capacities of the relevant stakeholders in the Member States in charge of fighting cybercrime.