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By Angela Nwanodu :

In the aftermath of the USTDA Reverse Trade Mission on Cybersecurity, the imperative for international collaboration to combat the escalating menace of cyber threats has become ever more apparent. 

Among the Nigerian Delegation to the mission held from February 4 to 15, 2024, Mr. Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata, CFA, MD/CEO, Anambra State ICT Agency, played a pivotal role alongside counterparts from Ghana and industry leaders in the United States. Together, they shared insights, shedding light on the global implications of cyber threats and the necessity for collaborative efforts.

Highlighting the interconnected nature of cyber threats transcending geographical boundaries, Mr. Agbata underscored the significance of local cyber resilience. “Cybersecurity is an escalating issue that demands proactive measures through robust policies and infrastructure,” he emphasized.

In a groundbreaking move to secure its digital landscape, the Anambra State Government, led by Gov. Chukwuma Soludo, has taken substantial steps in advancing cybersecurity within the state, which underscored the administration’s deep understanding of cybersecurity’s pivotal role in modern governance.

Gov. Soludo’s administration stood out as the first in the state’s history to prioritize cybersecurity to this extent. This marked a critical shift toward safeguarding the state’s digital infrastructure and assets, demonstrating a commitment to security and sustainability.

The administration’s dedication is evidenced by the developing of a comprehensive Cybersecurity Strategy, Information security strategies, and frameworks. These initiatives aimed not only to protect the state’s digital environment but also to create a resilient framework against evolving cyber threats. This holistic approach ensured that Anambra’s digital transformation journey remained secure and sustainable.

In an interview, Mr. Nonso Okoye, Senior Special Assistant to Mr. Governor on Cybersecurity, emphasized that cybersecurity is everyone’s business. Recognizing the borderless nature of cyber threats, he stressed the need for a unified global effort to safeguard digital infrastructures.

A notable aspect of Anambra State’s cybersecurity strategy is its emphasis on developing indigenous technological solutions. This focus enhanced security and fostered innovation, economic development, and local expertise. Plans for establishing an incident reporting portal and drafting business and government continuity plans, further underline the administration’s commitment to a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy.

Mr. Okoye also stressed the importance of community-level cyber resilience, recognizing the localized impact of cybersecurity challenges. “The agency remained committed to staying at the forefront of cybersecurity developments, implementing proactive measures, and advocating for a collaborative approach to mitigate cyber risks”, he concluded.

Gov. Soludo’s administration’s efforts in fortifying the state’s cybersecurity showcased a commendable blend of vision, innovation, and strategic planning. As Anambra advances toward a fully digitized governance model, these cybersecurity measures ensured that the state is not only prepared to defend against digital threats but also positioned as a leader in digital security and governance.

The Anambra State ICT Agency invites stakeholders, industry partners, and the community to join hands in building a resilient digital future. By sharing experiences, and best practices, and fostering collaboration, we can collectively enhance our cyber defenses.

*Angela is of the Ministry of Information, Anambra State

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