About Rwf3, 8 billion has been chopped from the Ministry of Youth and ICT (MYICT) budget to finance the newly created Cyber Security Agency.
According to Jean Philbert Nsengimana the ICT Minister, the new agency will help create more jobs. The government has a plan to at least create 200,000 off-farm jobs every year and ICT sector is a priority.
“We want ICT to play a key role in reducing trade imbalance,” Minister Nsengimana told lawmakers.
Appearing before the parliamentary chamber of deputies this morning, Nsengimana defended the cutting down of the Ministry’s operational budget by Rwf3, 8 billion. Last year the Ministry’s operational budget was worth Rwf17.8 billion.
Nsengimana said his Ministry has only spent 87% of the current budget. Thus decrease of Financial Year 2017/18 budget is partly due to exclusion of the budget allocated to Rwanda Development Board’s ICT Cyber Security operations.
ICT sector growth will depend mainly on Rwanda’s young population that is aggressively embracing ICTs.
At least 75% of Rwandans are below 35 years, while more than 200 million Africans are below 30 years.
RDB department of ICT has since 2013 been conducting several cyber security awareness campaigns among all computer and internet users in the country.
Last month, Parliament passed the draft law establishing the National Cyber Security Authority (NCSA) and determining its responsibilities, organisation and functioning.
The Cyber Security Agency will have extra powers to launch cyber-attacks both within and outside the country in case national security is at risk.
Under the ‘National Cyber Security bill’ the responsible agency reserves powers to investigate any threats in private and public institutions and defend the country from any attacks.
Meanwhile, the new proposed budget for cyber security project will further cut down Ministry of ICT’s 2018/2019 financial year budget by Rwf420 million to Rwf17,4 billion.
According to 2016 monetary policy and financial statement released by Central Bank, the country’s trade deficit dropped by 5.9% in 2016 (representing $1649.7million) from $1752.5million in 2015.