Malawi Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communication Technology, Mark Botomani says the country is going into the right direction in dealing with cyber security issues.
Botomani made the remarks during the official opening of the Community Cyber Security Capacity Building workshop on Monday in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe.
“It is quite encouraging that Malawi is going into the right direction in cyber security issues. Four years ago, in collaboration with the Common Market for East and Central Africa (COMESA) we held a workshop aimed at raising awareness on cyber security among senior Government officials and private and public sector executives,”
“Thereafter, Malawi developed the National Cyber security Strategy with financial and technical supported from the British Government through the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO). The Strategy which is aligned to international instruments is our blueprint which defines what action Malawi should take for the next five years. The strategy was developed through a consultative process that involved all stakeholders in the country’s ICT sector. Basically, what this means is that the strategy was collectively developed by Malawians for Malawians,” he says.
According to Botomani, government, through its various departments and bodies, is taking positive steps to strengthen Malawi’s position on issues related to online security, privacy and data protection.
“In 2017, the State President His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, assented into law the Electronic Transactions Bill and Communications Bill that address various aspects of data protection, online transactions and privacy. This, in a major way, reflects the political will that is there to make Malawi communications sector secure and safe,”
”The Government of Malawi through the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) is establishing National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) as mandated by the E-Transaction and Cyber Security Act, 2016. CERT shall take charge of Malawi’s information infrastructure protection actions and serve as a base for national coordination to respond to information and communication technology security threats. As one way of achieving this, Government through MACRA has engaged the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to assist in the establishment of CERT,” he says.
However, Botomani said government on its own cannot fulfill the mission of making Malawi secure from cyber-attacks and threats.
“We will need collaboration and support from all of you. We are therefore quite confident that all players in the ICT sector and the public at large will give us a helping hand in the implementation of these new legislations,” he says.