Local time: Monday, 27 January 2020 21:41:49hrs
I am looking for: 

Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC)
Ladies and Gentlemen; 1. Good morning to you our beloved regional and international guests and our local participants, all of who I wish a hearty welcome. It is an honour and a privilege for me to officiate4 at this workshop on the “SADC Harmonised Legal Cyber Security Framework for Southern Africa”. 2. Today Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) are an integral part of our lives. ICTs have changed the way we communicate, the way we run governments, the way we do business and even the way we entertain ourselves. 3. More importantly, ICTs have introduced new ways of creating knowledge, educating people and disseminating information to a point where those that have been exposed to ICTs find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to operate ordinarily without them. Unfortunately the advent of modern ICTs has also introduced a gap in the form of Digital Divide. 4. Those that have not yet enjoyed the benefits of ICTs remain spectators or are left behind in the new ways of life. 5. Access to information and knowledge is necessary for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) as it has the capacity to improve living standards of many of our people around the world, especially the developing economies. However, the challenge facing the world today is how to mitigate the negative consequences that ICTs inadvertently bring with them. 6. This challenge, I believe, is even greater for the developing economies where ICT expertise is still relatively low if not non-existent in some areas. We therefore find ourselves in a dilemma as developing economies. 7. On the one hand we want our people to enjoy the benefits of ICTs, and on the other hand we run the risk of being used by unscrupulous technology savvy people from other parts of the world to launch cyber-attacks. 8. Cyber-security is a serious challenge facing the world today. As the world is fast becoming one big digital globe, Cyber-security threatens to undermine this envisaged man made wonder that promises to simplify life in ways too complex to imagine. 9. With the availability of digital services such as Social Networks (Twitter, Facebook, Skype, My Space, Linked in), Google Maps, Google Earth and many other internet related services Cyber-security becomes a real concern. 10. An effective solution is required now before our favourite gadgets like mobile phones, tablets, laptops and others are used to locate us for criminal or other unwanted purposes. 11. I do not think it is farfetched to imagine that in future it may be possible for someone to send a command through the network which will trigger these hand held devices into destructive explosive gadgets. 12. It is comforting however, that efforts to address cyber threats are visible through out the world. This workshop is a case in point. At international level, the United Nations and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) have passed a number of resolutions and developed initiatives to address the problem. 13. In particular, the ITU launched the Global Cyber-Security Agenda (GCA) in 2007 as a framework for international cooperation aimed at enhancing confidence and security in the information society. 14. The GCA is designed for cooperation and efficiency, encouraging collaboration with and between relevant partners and building on existing initiatives to avoid duplicating efforts. 15. The Global Cyber-security Agenda has initiated programmes such as the Child Online Protection and through its partnership with the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats (IMPACT) and with the support of leading global players is currently deploying Cyber-security solutions to countries around the world. 16. The ITU has also set up the Cyber-security Gateway whose purpose is to provide a user friendly interactive information resource on national and international Cyber-security related initiatives worldwide. 17. The Cyber-security Gateway is intended to be a collaborative platform where the civil society, private sector, governmental and international organisations working in different work areas of Cyber-security can provide and share information. 18. The Gateway is open to stakeholders to provide information about their activities and initiatives relating to Legal Measures, Technical and Procedural Measures, Organisational Structures, Capacity Building or International Cooperation or any other work area relevant to Cyber-security. 19. Notwithstanding the above international initiatives, research has shown that there is very little in the form of Cyber security initiatives in our continent. 20. I am informed that some nations have cybercrime legislation in place or in progress, and that only a few other African countries have additional security measures apart from legislation. 21. I am pleased that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the ITU have found the need to run this regional initiative aimed at harmonising legal frameworks for Southern Africa. I realise from the agenda that this workshop will specifically address three legal frameworks regarding; Electronic Transactions, Protection of Personal Data and Cybercrime. 22. These are by no means exhaustive frameworks for dealing with Cybercrime, but they will form the building blocks robust Cyber-security legal frameworks. 23. By riding on the World Wide Web, Cyber-security is by its nature a global problem that requires national, regional and international solutions. 24. Harmonising our legal frameworks will therefore ensure that we can act in concert against cyber threats perpetrated against any one of the member states. It will also provide member states with frameworks on the type of issues that need to be embraced by respective national Cyber-security laws. 25. Therefore the development of individual national Cyber-security laws should take less time than they would otherwise take without the benefit of a model framework. 26. As we all know, in the digital world, time is not measured in days but by seconds – hence Bits/second, Per Second Billing etc. Therefore, a quick turnaround time in the development of Cyber-security laws and frameworks is vital. 27. Allow me to share with this forum some of the initiatives that Botswana is pursuing. In 2004, the Government undertook a benchmarking exercise to identify best practices in ICTs. The exercise culminated in the development of a National ICT Policy aptly named Maitlamo in the vernacular to denote commitment. 28. The Vision of the policy is to make Botswana a globally competitive knowledge and information society where lasting improvement in social, economic and cultural development is achieved through the use of ICTs. 29. The development of the Policy examined seven main areas to determine Botswana’s e-readiness. These were: ICTs in Homes and Communities; ICTs in Healthcare; ICTs in Learning; ICTs in the Marketplace and ICT Sector; ICTs in Government; ICT-enabling Infrastructure; and ICT-enabling Legislation. 30. Based on the Maitlamo Policy, the Government has established an e-legislation programme in response to the legislative gaps that were identified during the e-readiness assessment. 31. The programme also aims to ensure that as a country, Botswana has legislative frameworks that will facilitate and enable proper use of ICTs. 32. Some of the specific objectives of the e-legislation programme include: Facilitating and promoting electronic commerce by clarifying the legal status of electronic transactions, electronic records, and electronic signatures; Increase access to information by ensuring rights of individuals to access socially significant information without violating principle of information openness; preventing computer crimes, online fraud, hacking, cyber stalking, and many other cybercrimes. 33. In 2007 Botswana passed a law on Cybercrime and Computer Related Crimes. The Cybercrime and Computer Related Crimes Act aims to deal with issues of computer misuse, child pornography, combat cybercrime and computer related crimes, to repress criminal activities perpetrated through computer systems as well as to collect electronic evidence. This law does require updating and therefore we stand to benefit from the deliberations of this workshop to assess how best to be prepared for the new challenges. 34. In 2009, Botswana passed a law on Financial Intelligence. The Law aims to deal with issues of money laundering, sponsorship of terrorist activities and any other fraudulent practices that may be undertaken both through the electronic and traditional over-the-counter means. 35. The Financial Intelligence Act has also provided for the establishment of a special structure, the Financial Intelligence Agency, to oversee its implementation. 36. In 2010, an e-Legislation Committee chaired by the then Deputy Attorney General was formed. This committee was mandated to fast-track the implementation of e-Legislation programme with particular focus on the development of key Cyber-security laws. 37. I am happy to note that His Excellency the President has dully given us authority to start drafting the Data Protection, Electronic Commerce and Electronic Signature bills. These bills are expected to be ready, at least for first reading, by the next Parliamentary session. 38. This workshop therefore comes at a very opportune time; its outcomes will be very useful in strengthening our bills. 39. In conclusion, Cyber threats are real and have the potential to undermine the dynamic connected world that we are all hoping to see. May I implore all participants to use this opportunity to craft robust legal frameworks that will become the cornerstone in our fight to make the SADC digital world a safe one. 40. I wish to thank you all for having made time to attend this important workshop and wish you fruitful deliberations. 41. I thank you for your attention.
Printable version
Copyright © 2011 Government of Botswana. All rights reserved.