In December 2022, EU Cyber Direct, alongside the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise and the German Foreign Ministry, welcomed an ECOWAS study group to Brussels. Participants included senior government officials, ambassadors, and technical experts, drawn from different ministries and agencies of ECOWAS member states.
The study trip formed part of ECOWAS’ broader initiative to implement the Action Plan for Advancing Cybersecurity. The Action Plan aims to explore how cross-regional exchanges can strengthen cyber diplomatic capacities and cyber resilience, as well as the protection of critical infrastructure, vulnerable communities, and data sovereignty.
The visit promoted discussion on inter-regional and intra-regional cooperation in cyberspace. EU officials and ECOWAS member state representatives exchanged information and best practices on cybersecurity. Specific sessions on cybercrime, digital diplomacy, online disinformation, the EU Global Gateway, and the role of EU member states in shaping the EU’s cyber policies fostered robust dialogue and information sharing between speakers and participants. Such engagements helped underscore the benefits and opportunities arising from international partnerships in the areas of cybersecurity and cyber diplomacy.
The study trip not only contributed to enhancing cyber resilience in West Africa but has become an important milestone in the implementation of the ECOWAS Action Plan and on the journey to deepen EU-ECOWAS cooperation in cyberspace.