Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) says the country’s rank in the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) has improved.
This follows Botswana’s approval and implementation of the National Cybersecurity Strategy in October 2020. Botswana has been ranked by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in its 2020 GCI as the 12th out of 43 African Countries and the 88th out of 182 countries globally. The landlocked country achieved a score of 0.53 (or 53.05%) for the 2020 index, an improvement from 0.44 (44%) attained in 2018. The GCI is an initiative of the ITU, the United Nations (UN) specialised agency for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). It measures adherence to cybersecurity commitments by member states of the ITU across five pillars – legal measures, technical measures, organisational measures, capacity development measures and cooperation measures. Each of the pillars is scored out of a maximum score of 20.
Botswana performed strongly on the Legal, Organisational and Capacity development measures attaining scores of 16.4, 14.16 and 13.23, respectively.
“The country still needs to improve on the Technical and Cooperation measures,” the release read.
Botswana’s improvement in GCI ranking follows its approval and implementation of the National Cybersecurity Strategy in October 2020. Pursuant to implementing the Strategy, Botswana established the National Computer Incident Response Team (BWCIRT), the National Cybersecurity Risk Assessment (NCRA) of the Critical National Information Infrastructure (CNII) and drafting of the National Cybersecurity Act to enhance its capability in addressing the issues of cybersecurity. The Government partnered with the private sector to develop the National Cybersecurity Strategy draft to create secure and safe cyberspace. While waiting for its approval, the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC) commenced processes to establish the CIRT, a necessary structure for monitoring cyber threats, providing cyber intelligence information, and supporting CNII communications.
The United States of America is the 1st in the ITU GCI ranking, followed by the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia, which tied on the 2nd position, while Estonia is ranked 3rd. The Top 13 countries in Africa are Mauritius, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Benin, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda. Zambia, Côte d’Ivoire, Botswana, and Cameroon. In Southern Africa, Botswana ranks 4th after Mauritius, South Africa, and Zambia.
Out of 180 countries, Botswana scored position 108 in the National Cyber Security Index (NCSI) as of February 2020. In the GCI, the country was ranked number 87. For its ICT Development Index, the country was placed at position 105. Botswana’s Network Readiness Index was a fair number scoring position 101.
World Investment Report, 2017 cited that cyber threats and data security will influence future global investments. Minister of Transport and Communication Thulagano Segokgo, at the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) Enterprise Summit, said “there is expediency for the establishment of data protection authorities to counter these arising and pronounced threats. Left unattended, they have the potential to dent the reputation of companies and put personal security at risk. Solid and all-encompassing data protection laws ought to be developed.”
The GCI was first launched in 2015 by the ITU to measure the commitment of 193 ITU Member States to cybersecurity to help them identify areas of improvement and encourage countries to take action, through raising awareness on the state of cybersecurity worldwide. As cybersecurity risks, priorities, and resources evolve, the GCI has also adapted to give a more accurate snapshot of cybersecurity measures taken by countries.
The index aims to better understand countries’ commitments to cybersecurity, identify gaps, encourage the incorporation of good practices, and provide useful insights for countries to improve their cybersecurity postures.