Maputo — Mozambique's Minister of Transport and Communications, Carlos Mesquita, on Wednesday urged all segments of Mozambican society to work towards cyber-security in an increasingly connected world.
Mesquita was speaking in Maputo at the opening session of the fifth edition of the Mozambique Technology and Information Fair, Moztech, held under the theme "Building a Society of Hyper-Connected Knowledge".
"I'm taking this opportunity to appeal to the commitment and involvement of all players of the private sector, academics, civil society and other live forces in society to mitigate the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for negative and criminal purposes, in the light of national and international legislation", he said.
Mesquita warned that the abuse of ICTs "endangers democracy and the integrity of states". This threat should inspire "the adoption of policies that guarantee cyber-security and the rational use of technologies".
The Minister added that globalisation, driven by ICTs, is unavoidable in the development of local communities, and obliges society to become "hyper-connected". This was why it had become urgent to invest in the use of the new technologies.
The proper use of ICTs, said Mesquita, makes companies more competitive, simplifies procedures in domestic and international trade, brings innovations in work and in life, and contributes both to economic success and to living standards.
To face the current challenges, he continued, the government is implementing policies to ensure that all citizens have the right to gain access to these technologies.
"In communications, we have set up the universal access fund", he said, "which guarantees that Mozambican citizens, regardless of where they are, or whether access is difficult or not, can communicate and benefit from services with added value".
For his part, the chairperson of the Confederation of Mozambican Business Associations (CTA), Agostinho Vuma, warned that most of the country is still not benefitting from the new technologies. He claimed that investment in ICTs only exists in Maputo city and province, which indicates technological stagnation in the other provinces.
"The long term implications of this", said Vuma, "is a business cycle where small and medium enterprises are stagnant in technological terms, resulting in low productivity. Given this scenario, we have to find policies for technological development, and encourage its dispersion throughout the provinces to add to production capacity".
At MozTech, added Vuma, businesses should seek smart alternatives to face constant changes in the market, characterised by increased competition and constant technological advance.