View Points >> Viewpoints

Alan Hammond, PerformantaAlan Hammond, Performanta

When my opinion on the state of information security within the African continent was asked, I began thinking of countries like Sudan, Mali and Libya. I recalled images in the news of people armed with AK-47s, and craters the size of small passenger vehicles. Although this is the content served to us by the media, what of the rest of Africa?

Excluding SA, the African continent has much to offer in the way of technology and infrastructure capabilities.

Looking at various sources across the Web and print arenas, one trend does seem to appear – African states, although low on score, are slowly but surely appearing on the various technology ratings indexes.

This brings me back to the real question at hand – is there enough IT in Africa, to warrant an investment in IT – and to pursue IT opportunities in Africa? Well… yes and no.

With telecom operations being expanded more and more feverishly into the “African market”, access to Internet services via these facilities is becoming increasingly more commonplace.

Business, in one form or another, will continue to rely more and more heavily on IT infrastructure services to ensure interaction with global markets. Africa is a rich continent with much to offer the global market and as IT facilities become more commonplace and accessible to all, so too will the need for IT .

I would even risk saying that IT is required more in the emerging African market than ever before as, just like a vaccination for a child, prevention is key to continued and sustained growth.

Our key challenges faced, in my opinion, are those of funding and investment (primarily) caused by civil unrest – if we can all get along, these will be a concern of the past.

Once the pitfalls of infrastructure development have been overcome, with many projects to increase connectivity already on the go, a connected mess, a gigantic, continent sized botnet of denial of service miscreants will be the only output if proper IT systems have not grown with the connective capacities.

About the author: is a senior analyst at Performanta. Perfomanta, in partnership with websense, McAfee, Check Point and HP, are event sponsor of the upcoming Security Summit taking place at Sandton Convention Centre from 7-9 May