AJIC Issue 20, 2017

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The Issue of 20 The African Journal of Information and Communication includes a Focus Section on Cybersecurity featuring three articles: a survey of South African cybersecurity policy, an examination of South African cyber-incidents, and an evaluation of the dynamics of cyber awareness at a private tertiary educational institution.


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    AJIC Issue 20, 2017-Full Issue-Print-on-Demand Version
    This AJIC Issue 20 provides a three-article Focus Section on Cybersecurity, and articles and thematic reports on: the future of SADC digital economy regulation; development of a first aid smartphone app; development of a communication strategy to address violence against children; the potential use of drones in land-mapping; and uncertainties in the legalities of e-commerce transactions.
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    AJIC Issue 20, 2017-Full Issue
    This AJIC Issue 20 provides a three-article Focus Section on Cybersecurity, and articles and thematic reports on: the future of SADC digital economy regulation; development of a first aid smartphone app; development of a communication strategy to address violence against children; the potential use of drones in land-mapping; and uncertainties in the legalities of e-commerce transactions.
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    Regulatory Imperatives for the Future of SADC’s “Digital Complexity Ecosystem”
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2017-12-23) Abrahams, Lucienne
    This article uses a “digital complexity ecosystem” framing to delineate the challenges facing regulation of the digital economy in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. The digital complexity ecosystem approach, grounded in the field of complexity science – and in particular the study of complex adaptive systems (CASs) – is used to illuminate the sources of uncertainty, unpredictability and discontinuity currently present in the SADC digital sphere. Drawing on examples from three regulatory areas, namely mobile financial services, Internet of Things (IoT) network and services markets, and e-health services, the article argues that SADC regulatory bodies will themselves need to adopt highly adaptive, nonlinear approaches if they are to successfully regulate activities in the digital ecosystem moving forward. Based on the findings, recommendations are made on SADC regional regulatory agendas and, at national levels, matters of concurrent jurisdiction.
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    Development of a First Aid Smartphone App for Use by Untrained Healthcare Workers .
    (2017-12-23) Spies, Chel-Marí; Khalaf, Abdelbaset; Hamam, Yskander
    In the sub-Saharan African context, there is an enormous shortage of healthcare workers, causing communities to experience major deficiencies in basic healthcare. The improvement of basic emergency healthcare can alleviate the lack of assistance to people in emergency situations and improve services to rural communities. The study described in this article, which took place in South Africa, was the first phase of development and testing of an automated clinical decision support system (CDSS) tool for first aid. The aim of the tool, a mobile smartphone app, is that it can assist untrained healthcare workers to deliver basic emergency care to patients who do not have access to, or cannot urgently get to, a medical facility. And the tool seeks to provide assistance that does not require the user to have diagnostic knowledge, i.e., the app guides the diagnostic process as well as the treatment options.
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    Development of a Communication Strategy to Reduce Violence against Children in South Africa: A Social-Ecological Approach
    (2017-12-23) Edberg, Mark; Shaikh, Hina; Rimal, Rajiv N.; Rassool, Rayana; Mthembu, Mpumelelo
    Research on violence against children, though extensive, has not been effectively deployed for the development and tailoring of communication efforts aimed at specific national, local and cultural contexts within which such violence occurs. This article presents a staged, multi-sectoral communication strategy to reduce the incidence of violence against children in South Africa. Drawing on formative data collected through a literature review, key informant interviews, focus groups, and a stakeholder review meeting, the research team, in collaboration with UNICEF South Africa, formulated a communication strategy aimed at combatting violence against children. The data analysis and strategy development within a socialecological framework sought to identify factors at multiple levels that contribute to violence against children in the South African context. The communication strategy is designed to achieve positive social and behaviour change outcomes in South Africa with respect to the treatment of children, and also to provide an approach as well as specific elements that are potentially replicable to some extent in other countries.
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    Guest Editor’s Introduction: AJIC Focus Section on Cybersecurity
    (2017-12-23) Pillay, Kiru
    This introduction to the AJIC Focus Section on Cybersecurity provides the context for the section, introduces the three articles, and establishes the importance of ongoing emperical research in support of policy and strategy in the cybersecurity domain.
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    Governance of Cybersecurity – The Case of South Africa
    (2017-12-23) Sutherland, Ewan
    Cybersecurity is a growing concern for governments, with the push for universal access to the Internet, the increasing ubiquity of social networks and the growing reliance on digital government service, and given a growing range of threats from foreign powers, terrorists and criminals. These complex issues span all government ministries, their agencies and contractors, plus provincial and municipal government, and require the state to create legal frameworks and agencies to protect data and offer advice to businesses and citizens, plus ensuring a sufficient supply of skilled technicians and engineers. In the case of South Africa, its government responded in 2015 with a National Cybersecurity Policy Framework (NCPF), with implementation led by the Ministry of State Security. The Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act of 2013 created the Information Regulator to ensure data privacy. The POPI regime is only being implemented slowly and has overly wide exemptions for national security. South Africa lags behind advanced economies in cybersecurity legislation, in government coordination, in engagement with business and citizens, and in the supply of skilled labour. Delays have meant it lacks the experiences obtained in faster moving countries, and the improvements they have made to their policies and, especially, implementation. Parliament has neither pressed the government for faster action nor explored areas where powers might have been taken that infringe human rights.
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    An Analysis of Cyber-Incidents in South Africa
    (2017-12-23) Van Niekerk, Brett
    Cybersecurity concerns are present in all nations, but the exact nature of the threats differs depending on the country and/or region. Therefore there is a need to assess the threats and impacts for specific countries. This article presents a high-level analysis of “newsworthy” cyber-incidents that affected South Africa. The 54 incidents that are considered are categorised according to impact type, perpetrator type, and victim type, and the trends are assessed. It was found that the most common impact type was data exposure, which was also one that had increased noticeably in recent years. The most prevalent perpetrator type was found to be hacktivists, which had also exhibited a recent increase in activity. A particularly concerning trend was the recent high number of incidents of data exposure caused by error, a trend running contrary to the drive to improve cybersecurity. It was also found that of the incidents considered, 54% targeted state-owned or political entities as victims. In general, the results appeared consistent with global reported trends.
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    Students’ Cybersecurity Awareness at a Private Tertiary Educational Institution
    (2017-12-23) Chandarman, Rajesh; Van Niekerk, Brett
    Internet-based attacks have become prevalent and are expected to increase as technology ubiquity increases. Consequently, cybersecurity has emerged as an essential concept in everyday life. Cybersecurity awareness (CSA) is a key defence in the protection of people and systems. The research presented in this article aimed to assess the levels of CSA among students at a private tertiary education institution in South Africa. A questionnaire tested students in terms of four variables: cybersecurity knowledge; self-perception of cybersecurity skills, actual cybersecurity skills and behaviour; and cybersecurity attitudes. The responses revealed several misalignments, including instances of “cognitive dissonance” between variables, which make the students potentially vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The findings demonstrate the need for targeted CSA campaigns that address the specific weaknesses of particular populations of users.
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    Potential Contribution of Drones to Reliability of Kenya’s Land Information System
    (2017-12-23) Kameri-Mbote, Patricia; Muriungi, Muriuki
    Kenya has sought in recent years to digitise its land information system in order to increase reliability and accessibility, both of which are critical to securing land rights, minimising land disputes, and increasing investment in the sector. This thematic report argues for deployment of drone technology in order to increase the reliability of Kenya’s digital land records.
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    Reflections on Legal Uncertainties for e-Commerce Transactions in Cameroon
    (2017-12-23) Nwabueze, Caroline Joelle
    This thematic report appraises legal provisions currently governing e-commerce transactions in Cameroon, in particular the matter of online contracts for sales of goods and services. There are uncertainties for Cameroonian consumers in the legal provisions at both regional level – via the Organisation  pour l’Harmonisation  en Afrique du Droit des Affaires (OHADA, the Organisation for the Harmonisation of Business Law in Africa) – and at Cameroonian national level. The report recommends steps to be taken to remedy the uncertainties.
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