n Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Addressing the growing spectre of cyber crime in Africa : evaluating measures adopted by South Africa and other regional role players

Volume 44, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



Cyber crime is thriving on the African continent. The increase in broadband access has resulted in an increase in internet users. Thus, Africa has become a 'safe haven' for online fraudsters. African countries are pre-occupied with pressing issues such as poverty, the Aids crisis, the fuel crisis, political instability, ethnic instability and traditional crimes, such as murder, rape, and theft. As a result, the fight against cyber crime is lagging behind. The lack of IT knowledge by the public and the absence of suitable legal frameworks to deal with cyber crime at national and regional levels have compounded the problem.

However, attempts are being made by some African countries to address cyber crime. The South African government has taken the lead in introducing cyber legislation to address cyber crime. The ineffectiveness of the South African common law to combat cyber crime, led to the promulgation of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002 (ECT). Although South Africa has adopted the Council of Europe's Convention on Cyber Crime CETS N0 185 (CECC) it has not ratified the treaty. Other African countries such as Botswana, Kenya, Uganda and Cameroon have also taken steps to introduce cyber legislation and build regional partnerships to combat cyber crime. This is commendable. However, it is recommended that all African countries should adopt and ratify the CECCC to avoid becoming an easy target for international cyber crime.

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