July 27, 2011

We, the delegates of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi, meeting July 25-27, 2011, in Nairobi, Kenya, have enjoyed a full exchange of information on the challenges of cyber and mobile security in the 21st century. It is clear that the Internet, mobile networks, and related information and communications technologies (ICT) have become indispensible tools for governments, businesses, civil society, and individuals across the globe. These technologies have spurred tremendous economic development, increased the free flow of information, and promoted gains in efficiency, productivity and creativity across East Africa.

This dramatic growth requires an increased focus by all users on a wide range of threats such as cybercrime, damage to critical infrastructures, and disruption of communications. Such threats can only be fully addressed by developing a strong culture of cybersecurity, creating robust response capabilities, and enacting appropriate and effective national policies. Protecting our economies and citizens against cyber threats requires strong national and transnational collaboration between governments, businesses and civil society, so that security, economic development and freedom go hand in hand.

Therefore, we, the delegates of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi, consistent with Articles 98 and 99 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community (EAC) whereby Partner States undertake to cooperate in the establishment and operation of communications infrastructure and the development and deployment of ICT applications and services, and building on the work of the EAC Task Force on Cyberlaws, commit to taking the following steps necessary to develop strong and effective cybersecurity frameworks, including:

  • Developing and promoting a robust culture of cybersecurity that recognizes and effectively responds to the global threats and challenges associated with the Internet and interconnected mobile networks and related technologies, including exchanging cybersecurity best practices and maintaining an open dialogue on the full range of challenges and threats
  • Recognizing that mobile networks and related technologies play a central role in East Africa’s economic development, and should, therefore, be a priority area for cybersecurity efforts,
  • Building on the work of the EAC Cyberlaws Reform Programme and in particular the EAC Framework for Cyberlaws, adopted in May 2010, in which Partner States committed to enact comprehensive cybersecurity legislation, including cybercrime legislation consistent with the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime (2001)
  • Strengthening capacity to investigate and prosecute cybercrimes and to assist foreign law enforcement agencies in urgent criminal investigations involving electronic evidence by, inter alia, joining and participating in the 24/7 Cybercrime Network
  • Creating national Computer Emergency Readiness Teams (CERTs) and exchanging best practices on their effective utilization and collaboration

We thank the Governments of the United States and Kenya for their support for this workshop and look forward to our continued partnership.