ACRC at the Paris Peace Forum 2021

ACRC at the Paris Peace Forum 2021

The Africa Cybersecurity Resource Centre for Financial Inclusion (ACRC) is proud to have been one of just 30 projects selected from an initial 900 to participate on site to the Paris Peace Forum 2021 in Paris from 11th to 13th November, which is a tremendous recognition of our work. Besides ACRC, the only cybersecurity project for Africa is the Global Forum of Cyber Expertise – African Union Commission project.

This year, the hybrid onsite and online participation in the forum was very successful, with over 15 000 remote participants, 1 000 onsite in Paris, 1 400 NGO represented, international organization leaders, and 45 heads of state and government, including President Emmanuel Macron from France, Vice President Kamala Harris from USA, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh, President Macky Sall of Senegal, President Akinwumi Adesina of the African Development Bank, and many others.

ACRC hosting country President Macky Sall of Senegal and ACRC funder President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina

What is the Paris Peace Forum?

The Paris Peace Forum defines itself as a platform open to all seeking to develop coordination, rules, and capacities that answer global problems. It leads year-round support activities and an annual event in November to help better organize our planet by convening the world, boosting projects, and incubating initiatives. The Forum brings together all stakeholders to advance concrete solutions where none exist. Furthermore, the Forum aims to support, improve, and complement multilateral institutions, is multi-stakeholder and project-oriented. The event is described here .

One of the main themes is how to better govern the digital world, including cybersecurity

On the exhibition stand, Christophe Bianco, CEO of Excellium Services, a founding member of the ACRC consortium and Jean-Louis Perrier, ACRC Program Director, had the pleasure to welcome many visitors, projects leaders, officials, NGOs and media, the project arouses a lot of interest given the cyber resilience challenges facing financial institutions throughout the continent.

Paris Call For Trust & Security in Cyberspace

One of the Forum’s initiatives is the “Paris Call For trust and security in cyberspace” launched in 2018. More than 1 200 public, private and civil society organizations, the European Union, as well as the government of the USA, have now joined the Paris Call. The call affirms our willingness to work together, in the existing fora and through the relevant organizations, institutions, mechanisms and processes to assist one another and implement cooperative measures. From the 9-collaboration axis listed by the Paris Call, 6 are fully embedded in ACRC objectives for the African Financial Sector:

  • Prevent and recover from malicious cyber activities against individuals and critical infrastructure, the financial sector being one of the most critical;
  • Prevent activity that intentionally and substantially damages the general availability or integrity of the Internet;
  • Develop ways to prevent the proliferation of malicious ICT tools and practices intended to cause harm;
  • Strengthen the security of digital processes, products and services, throughout their lifecycle and supply chain;
  • Support efforts to strengthen an advanced cyber hygiene for all actors;
  • Promote the widespread acceptance and implementation of international norms of responsible behaviour as well as confidence-building measures in cyberspace.

ACRC had the great opportunity to share its’ field experience in emerging countries and the project objectives during a high-level panel “Safer cyberspace for all: Mobilizing the Paris Call for emerging countries” moderated by Justin Vaïsse, Director General of the Paris Peace Forum on Friday 12 November 2021. Co-panelists were the President of the Global Forum of Cyber Expertise (GFCE), Chris Painter, the Chief Digital Officer at Schneider Electric, Peter Weckesser, and ACRC Jean-Louis Perrier.

Safer cyberspace for all: Mobilizing the Paris Call for emerging countries replay is here.

Have you missed the Paris Peace Forum? The replay for a selection of other sessions is available here.