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Children vulnerable to cyber threats, says Zimbabwe vice president

Children vulnerable to cyber threats, says Zimbabwe vice president.

African countries should prepare to deal with growing and complex cyber security threats as well as harness technological advancements for economic development.

This is according to Zimbabwe vice president Joice Mujuru who made this statement on Thursday.

The African telecommunications sector has undergone technological advancements as the continent’s mobile market has boomed to among the fastest growing in the world, according to the likes of the GSMA.

While these developments have brought cheaper communications alternatives, they have also heightened cyber security risks, Mujuru told a conference of the African Telecommunications Union (ATU) underway in Harare.

"African countries need to boost preparedness to growing cyber threats. Children and other vulnerable people are at risk," she said.

Experts attending the conference said cyber crimes were on the rise across Africa.

For example, Telecel Zimbabwe has said it is losing revenue through illegal rerouting of telecommunications traffic on its network.

Subsequently, operators of telecommunications and other technology systems have been urged to upgrade their security policies.

The Zimbabwean vice president highlighted that "growth in ICT must be harnessed to develop socio-economic development" of countries in Africa as well as the upliftment and "well-being" of citizens on the continent.

"There is correlation between broadband and economic development. As African countries we are faced with increasing requirements for broadband infrastructure in both urban and rural areas," added Mujuru.

She urged African countries to enhance efforts to "develop internet exchange points" which would help enhance quality of internet services and further bring down costs.

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