Dr. Nnenna Ifeanyi-Ajufo is a Senior Lecturer of Law and Technology at the School of Law, Swansea University, United Kingdom where she teaches Digital Rights, IP, Innovation and the Law and Contemporary Issues in LegalTech. Her teaching and research interests relate to the intersection of law and technology, including the governance of emerging technologies and rule of law in cyberspace. She is the Vice-Chairperson of the African Union Cyber Security Experts Group (AUSCEG) and was recently appointed the Chairperson of the Network of African Women in Cybersecurity (NAWC) Steering Committee. She is also a Senior Research Fellow at the African Centre for International Criminal Justice and a member of the Cyber Threats Research Centre (CYTREC) Team at Swansea University, United Kingdom. In 2020, she was named amongst the 50 Individuals driving Legal Innovation in Africa at the Africa Legal Innovations Award.
LinkedIn: Nnenna Ifeanyi-Ajufo
Cyber Governance in Africa: A Crossroads of Sovereignty, Politics and Cooperation
Cyber governance is an integral and indivisible part of the digital revolution. The African Digital Transformation Strategy (The African Union Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa (2020-2030)) has highlighted the need for a greater capacity to detect and mitigate cyber-attacks. In determining thresholds for cyber-crisis, there are political dimensions to these discourses in Africa. The uncertainties of the effectiveness of governance mechanisms and lack of digital capacity in policies, strategies and infrastructure arguably casts doubt as to the capability of Africa to meet the expectations of addressing cyber crisis and conflicts. Africa’s preparedness for cyber conflicts and crisis bares so many questions such as, how well equipped is the African governance mechanisms to ensure cyber resilience in Africa. Are African states ready for regulation of the cyberspace through law and cooperation and to ensure meeting the mandates of cyber norms? The discussion about governance and cooperation in Africa for conflict prevention and stability in cyberspace has been largely unexplored from an academic perspective. The paper aims to examine the agenda on digital transformation in Africa in relation to peace, security and governance. From a regional perspective, the paper will examine the existing legal and political strategies for cyber governance in Africa. It will examine how political strategies such as cyber diplomacy can be leveraged in terms of cooperation to strengthen cyber governance in Africa. The paper will further explore Africa’s role in the cyber norms process and how the discourse of digital cooperation may place Africa strategically to ensure cyber resilience in the region.