South Africa and the Netherlands pleased with the success of the virtual Global Cyber Policy Dialogue

South Africa and the Netherlands, in partnership with the Observer Research Foundation America and Research ICT Africa, co-hosted the second successful virtual Global Cyber Policy Dialogue for Southern Africa on Wednesday, 06 October 2021. The aim of this meeting was to follow up on the inaugural session held in October 2020 and to also prepare and encourage participation at the much anticipated in-person session, to hopefully be held in 2022.

The virtual conference looked at refining participants’ understanding of the imperative of inclusive digital transformation and the concomitant security implications and risks of this transformation in Africa. The meeting also heard how fast and unchecked digitalisation could exacerbate existing inequalities or create new ones, and that development approaches may need to be re-evaluated or new strategies may be needed to ensure that the benefits of digitalisation are equitable to all.

Speakers and participants from across the globe highlighted the importance of government, private sector, civil society partnerships to unlock the development potential of cyber space and increase cyber resilience not only in Southern Africa but also globally.

On that occasion, Nathalie Jaarsma, Ambassador for Security Policy and Cyber at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs: ‘’Access to an open, free, stable and secure internet is not evenly distributed across the world, both in the Netherlands and in South-Africa. While bridging the digital divide, we need to consider the issue of trust. Our citizens need to be able to trust the security and integrity of the digital solutions they use in their everyday life. Our citizens and companies, but also our governments, need to trust each other to build a flourishing, innovative and equitable digital economy.”

South Africa and the Netherlands are already collaborating in digital projects. The Dutch Bureau for Statistics and the cities of Tshwane, Johannesburg and Cape Town worked together on big data management for the development of resilient and sustainable cities.

Enquiries: Jessica Glendinning –

Issued by The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in South Africa