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Kenya to benefit from Sh3.3 billion UK cyber war chest

By Fredrick Obura | May 12th 2021
The money targets supporting national cyber response units. [Courtesy]

Kenya is among countries in Africa to benefit from United Kingdom’s Sh3.3 billion cyberwar chest.

The money announced on Monday targets supporting national cyber response units, advising on consumer safety awareness online and setting up a joint Interpol cyber hub that will help nations mount joint operation on cybercriminals.

The move comes at a time when cyber-crime cases in many countries, including Kenya are on the increase.

According to the Communications Authority of Kenya’s sector statistics report for the fourth quarter of 2020, cyber threats rose by over 50 per cent to 56.2 million from 35.1 million threats reported in the previous quarter.

Of note, malware and application attacks continued to rank highly among the factors that have contributed to the surge in cyber-security challenges.

The United Kingdom (UK) through its Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab noted with concern the rising number of criminals that target online consumers and disrupting ease of doing business in the modern world. 

As part of the new approach to bring down cybercriminals, the UK jointly with INTERPOL, is setting up a new cyber operations hub in Africa working across Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Rwanda to support joint operations against cyber-crime.

Speaking at the National Cyber Security Centre’s CYBERUK conference, Raab outlined UK’s vision of being a leading responsible cyber power, working with partners to shape cyberspace according to her values. 

“We are working with like-minded partners, to make sure that the international order that governs cyber is fit for purpose,” he said. 

“We want to see international law respected in cyberspace, just as we would anywhere else. And we need to show how the rules apply to these changes in technology, the changes in threats, and the systemic attempts to render the internet a lawless space.” 

The Sh3.3 billion investment in cyber capacity building will target countries in Africa, the Commonwealth and Indo-Pacific, transforming their resilience by helping build national emergency response teams and promoting future leadership by funding new Chevening scholarships.    

The new Interpol desk will work across Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Rwanda, creating a regional strategy to support joint operations against cybercrime, and strengthen African states’ capability to combat the crime and those behind it. With some of the fastest-growing economies in the world, Africa has become a target for opportune cybercriminals.


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