A landmark announcement by Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo urges both the public and private sectors to take cyber security more seriously, and to design new measures to stop threat actors. Osinbajo encouraged companies to share best practices, and adopt new internal policies regarding cyber safety.

Earlier in the month, The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) stated that a National Computer Emergency Response Team is being assembled in order to identify, monitor and squash national cyber crime. The Vice President’s sentiments underscored the significance of this initiative.

In a country of nearly 200 million people, roughly 87 million live in extreme poverty; social conditions perpetuate cyber crime. In 2017, the country dealt with $649 million in cyber crime related financial losses, and an estimated 60% of Nigerian companies are affected by cyber attacks annually. Nigerian hip-hop artists even sing about those who have gained wealth through cyber fraud, nearly glorifying cyber attackers.

International corporations including Microsoft, have partnered with national organizations to educate individuals about cyber security, and to generate positive, parallel economic opportunities.

Upping the country’s cyber security initiatives is critical if the country wishes to continue as Africa’s e-commerce powerhouse. This past week, the first of Africa’s tech “unicorns,” Nigerian-based Jumia Technologies, made it onto the NYSE.

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