African SMEs’ Performance and Behaviors during COVID-19

● Support the introduction of fber optics to business parks and commercial areas. ● Watch over the quality of the trained personnel who work for technical support in call centers and branches of operators, which often requires capacity building opportunities at public training institutions and facilities. ● The rural communications infrastructure are especially important, as the costs to build into rural areas can be high, and interconnection to the national backbone should be as afordable as possible to encourage rural investments. ● Some studies expect that satellite internet and communications will replace traditional internet infrastructure in the coming decade which can be very benefcial for small businesses in African rural areas. More studies and research should be in place to highlight this investment opportunity and if governments and corporations should give their investment priorities to satellite internet. (Leapfrogging concept)

4- Cybersecurity and digital protection

Having established that the Internet is of prime importance to African SMEs, it is crucial to pay attention to cybersecurity that would limit the threats targeted at African SMEs. Equally, information security is becoming a growing concern for businesses of all sizes. However, because SMEs lack the adequate resources that large corporations could acquire as sizable equipment and software to protect their IT resources, it becomes key for public policy to ofer support in this domain for SMEs. Small businesses do not have the base across which they can spread the costs of hiring security experts or implementing expensive security-related technologies. ● Public policy eforts facing cybercrime prevention should predominantly be focused on raising awareness and behavior change. ● Awareness should become a centerpiece of the African government's action plan for Cyber-resilience. It should aim to refect the array of online risks to which African SMEs are exposed. ● Public policy should make available an agency that would support African SMEs in the protection of information system assets (including hardware, software, frmware, information/data and telecommunications) against threats and attacks to preserve the integrity, availability and confdentiality of these systems. ● Governments should also put in place mechanisms that would help African SMEs’ victims recover quickly, taking measures to protect others (by increasing resilience and attacking the source of the attack), and performing criminal investigations of those responsible. ● More particularly, cybersecurity regulatory framework should : ➔ Render lines of accountability clear—both for cyber security policy and for crisis response. ➔ Make it clear how government priorities are decided and communicated regarding cyberattacks and information security. ➔ Formulate coherent, cross-government strategy for cybersecurity, that is reviewed and refreshed regularly with clear performance metrics. These response arrangements should be regularly tested and exercised. ➔ Publish information about progress on cybersecurity.


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