African Union Mechanism for Police Cooperation (AFRIPOL)
Purpose & Mandate
AFRIPOL is a technical institution of the African Union with a mandate to strengthen cooperation between the police agencies of AU member states in the prevention and fight against organized transnational crime, terrorism, and cybercrime. Its status was adopted by the AU Conference in January 2017 and became effective immediately.
The priority of AFRIPOL is to strengthen and harmonize the capacities of law enforcement agencies in member states and facilitate cooperation and collaboration among them in the prevention and fight against organized transnational crime. To achieve this goal, AFRIPOL provides law enforcement agencies with online training via its e-learning platform, in-person training, training of trainers, experiences and best practices sharing workshops, immersion internships, as well as scholarships.
The African Secure Communication System “AFSECOM”, is a key tool for implementing the mandate of AFRIPOL. It ensures secure and reliable communication between AFRIPOL and law enforcement agencies of the African union member states, while allowing for the storage and sharing of data to enhance the cooperation between them in combating organized transnational crime, terrorism, and cybercrime. All AFRIPOL liaison offices are equipped with this system.
AFRIPOL maintains strong partnership with African regional police chief organizations as well as with CAERT and CISSA. It also cooperates with numerous international police organizations, such as INTERPOL, CEPOL, FRONTEX, EUROPOL, GCCPOL, and UNODC. In 2020, INTERPOL and AFRIPOL established the support program for the African Union in relation to AFRIPOL (ISPA), offering both organizations the opportunity to cooperate in key areas, including combating criminal networks in organized crime, terrorism, and cybercrime. Since 2019, a cooperation project with the German Federal Police has been established, aimed at strengthening the capacities of law enforcement agencies in member states in key areas of their activities, particularly in forensic through the AFRIPOL Network of Excellence in Forensic.
AFRIPOL AND CYBER SECURITY
Purpose & Mandate
In the late 1990s, the pioneers of Internet connection in Africa were connected using geostationary satellites. Only a handful of privileged people were able to access the Internet. Twenty years later, all the countries of the continent are connected to the global network by submarine or terrestrial cable,satellites, and even using drones or balloons. satellites and even using drones or balloons. 25% of the African population in South Sahara has permanent access to the Internet, compared to 60% of the population in North Africa, for a world average of only 50.8% of the population connected to the Internet. We note that 37 African countries have set up a universal access fund to expand national Internet coverage, which has enabled the African continent to have one of the highest connectivity growth rates in the world. However, as with any new emerging technology, the development of the Internet has also led to an increase in cybercrime. Cyber-dependent and cyber-enabled crimes now concern all sectors of activity, with new trends of collaboration between traditional crimes and cybercrime. For example, terrorist groups may use the services of cybercriminals to raise funds using cryptocurrencies. Human trafficking criminal networks are exploring the dark web to gain expertise in designing fake travel documents… This new reality of organized crime makes it impossible to dissociate the fight against cybercrime from the fight against all other forms of crime.The second alarming fact is that two years after the COVID-19 pandemic,the aftermath is still being felt on the African continent, the aftermath is still being felt on the African continent, especially with the job losses that have destroyed certain sectors such as hospitality, tourism and aviation. . At the same time, working methods have also evolved since COVID-19; some employees have developed a taste for remote work, which opens a door for attacks like fishing and BEC.