By Landing Ceesay
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the European Union (EU) would tomorrow (Wednesday) handover a digital laboratory to combat cybercrime in The Gambia.
“As part of the European Union-funded project “Organised Crime: West African Response on Cybersecurity and fight against Cybercrime” (OCWAR-C), ECOWAS will officially hand over a digital laboratory to the Gambian authorities on Wednesday 19 October 2022 in Banjul, the Gambia to build the operational capacity of the structures in charge of digital forensic investigations.
“The official handover of the cybercrime laboratory, a digital forensic tool, to the Ministry of Home Affairs through the Ministry of Telecommunications and Digital Economy of The Gambia will be done by the ECOWAS Commission, in collaboration with the European Union,” ECOWAS said in a statement.
The Regional bloc said it would work with its partners to build the capacity of the Gambian police to effectively counter cybercrime in the country and to better cooperate with the other Member States in terms of managing cybercrime problems.
It said the laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, including forensic equipment (forensic duplicator and imager, forensic laptops, forensic workstation/server, etc.), generic materials, software and licences.
The bloc stated that before the relocation of the laboratory, training was provided to the Gambian police officers to develop and enhance their capacity to process digital evidence following well-established best practices and appropriate procedures.
ECOWAS said several public figures are expected to attend the presentation ceremony on Wednesday 19 October.
“Several people will come from the ECOWAS Commission, the European Union Delegation in The Gambia, Expertise France, Ministries of Digital Economy, the Interior and Foreign Affairs of The Gambia,” it stated.
The handing over of the laboratory would be followed by an awareness campaign on 21st October on cybersecurity for a sample of 80 people, representing the country’s stakeholders involved in this activity, including state actors, IT managers of private structures and the gen-eral public.
Digital hygiene challenges and the consideration of international good practices would be part of the topics that would be discussed during these sessions, statement continued.
OCWAR-C is an ECOWAS project funded by the European Union and implemented by Expertise France, with the objective to contribute to improving cyberse-curity and combating cybercrime in the member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Mauritania.
It also aims to enhance the robustness and build the resilience of information infrastructure and the capacity of stakeholders involved in the fight against cybercrime.