With the CRASA 10th Annual General Meeting around the corner ( 29th April 2021),preparations are underway. We are therefore happy to announce this years' theme: “Facilitating universal access to safe and secure communications services for all SADC citizens by bridging infrastructure and cybersecurity gaps.”
As a custom, Annual General Meetings (AGMs) have a theme that brings focus to the gaps identified in the regulation of the Electronic Communications and Postal sectors in the region with the realization of gaps which have been made obvious by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only made it apparent of the need for SADC Member States to embrace technology, especially the ICTs and postal services, in allowing for continuation of economic processes and operations, education, health services provision and governance; amongst others, but it has also made Governments to realize that ICTs and postal services are providing opportunities to redesign both the government and private sector processes and operations. ICTs and postal services have become the heart of the economies and strategic planning of such processes will have to ensure that ICTs and postal infrastructure is upgraded and universally available.
In addition to the gaps in ICTs and postal infrastructure, the pandemic has highlighted the fact that the cyber space has become a critical global infrastructure. With the dynamic development of newer electronic communications technologies and applications especially the accelerated proliferation of broadband services has increased the digital security risks in SADC. As digital technologies are being accessed almost universally, the cyber criminals have become more innovative and creative in attacking the cyber domain. Further, as the cyber space becomes more free and open, the security of the space is at great stake. Furthermore, with existence of weak, poor and underdeveloped cyber security strategies and policies, inadequate capacity and skills in cybersecurity as well as a general lack of awareness and public education on cybercrime, most of SADC is greatly exposed to harmful attacks of its cyber domain.
The need for enhanced and effective cyber security collaboration is therefore required if SADC is to respond effectively to cybercrime and to enhance the SADC Members States’ cyber resilience. Further, it has been noted that cybercriminals do not respect borders and as such need for regional cooperation where a common vision and purpose should be identified in securing a free, open, secure and interoperable cyber space.