Cameroon has joined the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime with a presidential decree issued on May 24 authorizing the country to do so.
Joining such a Convention will allow the country to strengthen its legislation on the protection of its cyberspace and benefit from a stronger repressive framework. Indeed, the Convention will help to better define acts of cybercrime so that judges are better equipped to approve sanctions. Cameroon will also be able to improve its international cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of Internet crimes.
"The issues related to cybercrime are trans-border. A crime can be committed in Cameroon, the perpetrator is abroad and the evidence is in another continent," said the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications (Minpostel). Last March, the National Assembly adopted the law authorizing the President of the Republic to proceed with Cameroon's membership in the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime. This law was promulgated on April 27 by the Head of State. The law is timely as cybercrime has taken disturbing proportions in recent years in the country.
The National Agency for Information Technology and Communication (Antic) has revealed that it has received 3,105 complaints about cybercrime, uncovered more than 5,000 fake accounts on social media, and recorded seven attacks on the websites of public administrations in 2021. Antic also estimates that the financial losses due to intrusions into the computer systems of public and private administrations last year amounted to CFA12.2 billion. Faced with the growing number of cyber incidents, the country is engaged since August 12, 2020, in a national campaign to promote cybersecurity and raise awareness of responsible use of social media.