President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari, Monday in Dubai, called on world leaders to come up with proposals to create a digital world that is accessible, inclusive and safe for all.
Delivering a keynote speech at the 2019 Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) in Dubai, UAE, attended by world leaders, Buhari said a certain level of regulation was needed to preserve the integrity of the digital economy.
He decried the use of the cyber space to manipulate elections, subvert the democratic rights of citizens as well as propagate violence.
The president also lamented the steady rise in fake news and cybercrimes, particularly when platforms are hijacked and manipulated by criminals.
He called for collective efforts led by both public and private sector leaders to address the emerging threats of digital globalisation.
Buhari said: “Today, we have a cyber-world that is intangible but real. This borderless world is powerful, and it impacts the lives of billions of people, no matter how remote their physical locations are.
“People work in it. People socialise in it. And people invest in it. This presents enormous opportunities. But it also remains a constant threat if left unregulated.
“On the one hand, it has made the human race more productive and more efficient. Today, we have digital banking, virtual currencies and many social platforms that connect people and cultures.
“On the other hand, we have seen platforms hijacked and manipulated as evidenced by the steady rise in fake news and cybercrimes.
“More recently, we are also witnessing the use of the cyberspace to manipulate elections, subvert the democratic rights of citizens as well as propagate violence.
“In effect, the digital world has become the new frontier for both good and evil. Therefore, the challenge for world leaders must be to ensure that this space is inclusive, accessible and safe.”