China has the largest amount of users in the world, a significant digital economy growth potential, and its national Internet giants Alibaba, Didi, Tencent and Baidu are increasingly able to rival the biggest Western competitors in terms of market value and influence on the global tech landscape. China’s cyber diplomacy puts special attention towards equal participation, the principles of non-interference in internal affairs, non-use of force and peaceful settlement of disputes, and support for multilateral institutions to shape normative views on the governance of cyberspace. However, China’s propagation of the cyber-sovereignty approach to international cybersecurity policy and an absolutist reading of sovereignty in cyberspace provide a legal cloak for state practices that often run counter to the core European values of a global, open, and free Internet.
Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country with a population of 211 million
people. Nigeria also has the continent’s largest economy, with a total GDP of $440 billion
. Nigeria only emerged as Africa’s largest economy in 2014, overtaking South Africa after a GDP rebasing
exercise which accounted for the contribution of emerging sectors of the economy, such as the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. Nigeria’s economy had hitherto been petroleum dominated. In Q4 2021, the ICT sector of the economy contributed 15% to GDP
, compared to 5% for the oil and gas sector. The percentage of people who use the Internet
in Nigeria is 28%, largely through mobile networks. 91% of the population is covered by a mobile network (i.e. 74% by at least a 3G network and 41% by at least a 4G network). Huawei and ZTE have been responsible for constructing major parts
of Nigeria’s broadband network (4G, LTE and 5G). Mobile phone subscription coverage is 99% of the population. Active mobile broadband subscription is 42% of the population, while fixed broadband connection is negligible, under 1%. Nigeria has 6 international submarine cables
bringing at least 40TB capacity
to its shores. There are 7 Internet Exchange Points (IXPs)
in Nigeria with 71 peering networks. NigComSat-1, a communications satellite, made possible by cooperation between Nigeria and China, was launched
in May 2007. Nigeria has plans to purchase
2 more communications satellites by 2025. Nigeria banned cryptocurrencies
in 2021, but floated perhaps Africa’s largest digital currency
the e-naira the same year. Despite the cryptocurrency ban, it is still in use
in the country although hosted in foreign accounts.
The European Union is a significant partner in Nigeria’s cyberspace. For example, through its EU-Nigeria Digital Economy Package
(Global Gateway Initiative), the EU plans a 820 million Euros investment to support Nigeria’s digitalisation strategy through digital infrastructure investments, digitalisation of public services, digital entrepreneurship, digital skills, and digital governance. However, the EU faces strong competition from China, whose investment
in Nigeria’s telecommunications sectors is estimated to be $US 16 billion. China also helped manufacture and launch Nigeria’s Communications Satellite and has an equity stake
in the parent satellite communications company. Huawei has been an important partner of the Nigerian government in building smart cities and e-government applications in an effort to improve government public services. Nigeria’s cyberspace is governed by several agencies including the Nigerian Communications Commission
(NCC) and the National Information Technology Development Agency
Thanks to its regulatory powers, robust digital economy, and active foreign and security policy, the European Union is one of the key players in cyberspace. The EU strongly promotes the position that international law, and in particular the United Nations (UN) Charter, applies in cyberspace. As a complement to binding international law, the EU endorses the voluntary non-binding norms, rules and principles of responsible State behaviour that have been articulated by the UN Group of Governmental Experts. It also encourages the development and implementation of regional confidence building measures, both in the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and other regions. On a bilateral level, the EU has established cyber dialogues with strategic partners to reinforce the exchange of good practices, lessons learnt and further the idea of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace.