Weekly Round-Up


1. Bahamas to level up their cybersecurity capabilities.


Through a partnership with the International Telecoms Union, the Bahamas are establishing a central organisation to improve their national cybersecurity. The creation of a National Computer Incident Response Team (BSCIRT) as part of a National Cybersecurity Project was announced yesterday by the Department of Transformation and Digitization. The BSCIRT will “identify, protect and defend against cyberattacks.” Senator Kwasi Thompson, who leads the government’s digital transformation efforts, noted “Since the passage of Hurricane Dorian and in our current reality of providing services during the COVID-19 pandemic, government agencies and private sector entities are conducting more business transactions over the internet. It is therefore important to minimize the risks associated with operating business online”.



2. Nigeria’s Northern Governors vote to regulate social media to prevent spread of disinformation.


The Northern States Governors Forum has made calls for social media platforms in the country to be regulated after their meeting in Kaduna on Monday. This comes after the regular spread of disinformation and fake news has led to several incidents of violence. In a communiqué the Chairman of the Governors Forum and Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong, noted the “devastating effect of the uncontrolled social media in spreading fake news” and called for “major control mechanisms and censorship of social media practice in Nigeria”.



3. Mozambique hit by missiles fired from Tanzania.


It appears that missiles have been fired across the Rovuma River from Tanzania into bordering Mozambican villages over the weekend. At least 12 Mozambicans have been injured by the attacks. The source of what viewers have described as “rocket attacks” has yet to be identified. This is the latest development in a trend which has seen violence in the Mozambique - Tanzania border region, presenting a growing threat to the wider Central and Southern Africa.



4. Mauritius oil-spill likely to be cleaned by January.


The clean-up of August’s massive oil-spill off the coast of Mauritius is likely to be complete by January, says the owner MV Wakashio, the ship which caused the spill. Roughly 1,000 tonnes of oil have been successfully removed from the ocean. The spill had spread over a large area of endangered coral and many experts have called it an ecological disaster. Whilst much damage has already been done, the successful clean up operation, which has been supported heavily by local authorities and communities has played a key role in mitigating continued environmental harm.



5. Royal Australian Navy trials unmanned AI systems in disaster relief exercise.


In a Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) training exercise conducted this week, the Royal Australian Navy trialled unmanned systems powered by artificial intelligence. Delivered by land, sea and air, the systems were deployed in an array of capacities to assess their suitability for aiding disaster response operations in the future. This reflects Australia’s 2020 Force Structure Plan which signals a move towards the adoption of more autonomous and unmanned capability in many areas of defence. Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds noted that “Using autonomous systems to respond to disaster scenarios is a potential game changer for defence by providing the agility and technological edge to rapidly support our region in times of crisis.”


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