Creation, hosting and promotion of local content and services. Overview of the mechanisms for an effective sovereignty in the numerical ecosystem in Burkina Faso.

A visual of the event and speakers

On May 26, 2020, I attended a webinar themed “Creation, hosting and promotion of local content and services. Overview and mechanisms for an effective sovereignty of the Digital ecosystem in Burkina Faso”. The event was hosted by the West African Blockchain Community association (WABC) and the Blockchain Burkina Association (founding member of the WABC).

For over three (03) hours, the experts explored various topics including the followings:

1. The issue: What inspired a webinar on the sovereignty of the digital ecosystem in Burkina Faso?

Speaker: LARBA NADIEBA, Expert in Digital Economy specialized in data security and regulations & President of WABC

The workshop was prompted by the emergence of disruptive technologies such as the Blockchain, which Burkina Faso should manage to stay abreast of. With regards to the local context depicted by a government effort of digitization of the public administration as well as civilian services, coupled with the potential imminent impact of Blockchain on the digital ecosystem, national experts in the field of digital programming and development have exposed the emergency of creating a synergy. Most importantly, it was an opportunity to discuss the necessity of having a stable internet connection, hosting and security infrastructures as elements of digital sovereignty.

The Blockchain Burkina association and West African Blockchain Community are CSOs formed by people from different backgrounds: around 70 members and seasoned experts in energy, cryptocurrencies, lawyers, police, regulation experts, telecoms, etc.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has compelled the world to rely on digital solutions, to guarantee the functioning of the economy in particular and the society in general. Several digital communication tools such as Cisco Webex Meetings and Zoom have emerged and became mainstream. Therefore, it is paramount for countries such as Burkina to discuss the necessity of maintaining their sovereignty, by creating a digital framework involving strong infrastructures, clear and fair regulations, and reinforcement of existing frameworks. Hence the theme “Creation, hosting and promotion of local content and services. Overview and mechanisms for an effective sovereignty of the Digital ecosystem in Burkina Faso “.

2. The requirements of accommodation environments with secure standards and feedback. Speaker: Nathanaël KONSIMBO, Expert in Digital Transformation

· What is data hosting?

It is the process of deploying and hosting a data center on the infrastructure of a third party or external service provider. This allows the same services, features and capabilities of a data center to be used, but from a hosted platform external to the on-site data center or IT infrastructure. Examples of hosting network services are email, mobile applications, collaboration platforms, etc.

· Why entrust your data to a third party?

Companies and organizations entrust their data to third parties for one or more of the following reasons: Reducing investment and operating costs: having a data center or a private cloud is not accessible to all companies. Security: It is cheaper to pool together the security systems of two or more companies. Accessibility: this enable data accessibility from any place and from any compatible terminal.

· What are the types of hosting platforms?

The public cloud (I have my partitioned space in a public infrastructure); The private cloud (I build my own data residence infrastructure); Cloud at Customer (I have an infrastructure at home or isolated in a public infrastructure and which is managed by a third party).

· Standards, regulations and certification

Hosters must organize themselves in such ways that the data is made available to the customers in a timely manner. (This is a great responsibility). The architecture is structured as follows: In each region (geographic area), suppliers create Availability Domains composed of one or more isolated breakdown-tolerant data centers located in a region, but connected to each other. Within an Availability Domain, breakdown protection mechanisms are set up and serve as backup.

Standards and regulations are available despite the complexity of the architecture. For instance, when a Burkinabe citizen stores his data in a Japanese server, the data must have a supranational standard to regulate the operation. Cloud providers must comply with standards (ISO, SOC, Cloud Security Alliance, PCI-DSS, etc.), regulations (RGPD, Cloud Act, Privacy Shield, Digital Privacy Law in China) and obtain certifications upon thorough auditing. In addition, a national security policy was adopted last year as part of an effort of regulation.

In summary, it is commended that companies be educated about data intelligence and prompted to create data centers.

3. Major recommendations

· The creation of data centers with respect to international standards and requirements and especially with a strong involvement of the private sector;

· Certification endorsed by international organizations of data centers;

· Stability and improvement in the quality and availability of internet connectivity;

· The finalization and automation of the process of purchasing “.bf ’domain names at ARCEP.

· The establishment of suitable short-term environments for the hosting of personal data in order to ensure sovereignty and respect of consumers’ rights by linking together the public and private sector;

· Maintaining continuous security and protecting consumer data available with mobile operators;

· A deep commitment key actors of domain name management chain to guarantee strong adhesion of all stakeholders with the Burkinabè Association of Internet Domains (ABDI) in charge of the operationalization;

· Processing continuous and periodic functional audits of institutions with critical infrastructures by ANSSI;

· Meeting the requirements of the General Security Referential (RGS) in the management of critical State infrastructures;

· Ensuring the continuity and the stability of the critical and value-added services of the State;

· Developing new initiatives aiming at creating appropriate skills to operate the total control of our critical infrastructure;

· The appropriation of Public Private models in the management of Cloud infrastructures;

Finally, the establishment of a body in charge of monitoring the standardization of essential reference data helpful to establish effective communication between platforms. This will facilitate the establishment of webServices and national data warehouses.