An awareness campaign on cybercrime will launch in July 2013, culminating in the first Africa ICT Cybercrime Convention in September 2013 in Cape Town.
This awareness campaign will be a coordinated industry-wide effort to inform and educate African citizens on the safe and responsible use of ICT in order to minimise the inherent risks as well as increase customer trust.
Says Mauritz Robertson of IMPI, "As ICT practitioners, it is our shared responsibility to work together to ensure online safety and security and it is therefore crucial for our industry as a whole to join forces in the fight against cybercrime. The initiative creates a platform for participation to bring increased focus on the problem of cybercrime and to help build an effective cybercrime prevention programme. This falls within the framework of the National Cybersecurity Policy approved by cabinet in March 2012.
"As much as we would like to tackle cyber security from a purely technical perspective, the reality is that there is a major social component to it, and creating awareness of the problem in the broader society is paramount to reduce the risk of being a victim of a cybercrime," says Professor Willem Visser from Computer Science at Stellenbosch University.
Robertson continues, "The inaugural campaign encompasses a variety of activities that span over a period of six months in a format that is the first of its kind in Africa. A brief outline is available on our resource website. As a long term project, we plan to host and coordinate events in different African countries each year with a view to providing public authorities, private sector, industry and civil society, organisations and individuals, the platform to connect."
The theme guiding the campaign is based on working together to ensure a safe and secure online environment through industry innovation, collaboration and transformation.
"We're dedicated and passionate about making a difference by promoting the personal and professional development of all aspiring and practicing technologists and ultimately ensuring a safe and secure online environment in South Africa and Africa at large.
"We believe there is no shortage of great ideas on our continent, but rather a lack of collaboration and support to turn those ideas into action. The success of this initiative is therefore only achievable with the active participation and generous support of partner organisations. This Call for Partners is the first step in our Call to Action that allows ICT-focused organisations in Africa the opportunity to explore a range of levels of engagement," he concludes
For more information, go to www.cybercrime.org.za/awareness