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Harnessing the Power of Youth in Cybersecurity: Highlights from CyberTech Africa 2023

There’s no denying that the digital age we live in today is filled with a plethora of opportunities and risks. One aspect we’re constantly grappling with is the battle between convenience and privacy. How often have you been prompted by an app to share your location or grant permission to track your usage? Why do you usually opt for ‘Do not allow’? Is it a conscious effort to maintain privacy and ensure safety, or is it simply discomfort with sharing personal details?

In a world that is increasingly interconnected, cybersecurity has become more important than ever. Today, KURA brings you highlights from the first-ever CyberTech Africa 2023, aimed at educating and raising awareness about cybersecurity, especially amongst the youth.

In her opening remarks, Hon. Paula Ingabire, Minister of Information and Communications Technology, highlighted the alarming statistics showing a 67% increase in cyber incidents. This digital interconnectedness, while bringing our communities closer, has also brought forth various challenges that we must face.

She called for a unified and collaborative approach to curb cyber threats and emphasized the role young people can play in safeguarding the African continent. “By joining forces, we can do our best to safeguard the African continent against cyber threats,” she said.

Interestingly, it was revealed that a very little number of the CyberTech workforce is female, highlighting a significant gender gap in this critical sector. Cybersecurity shouldn’t be an afterthought. Instead, it should be an integral part of our day-to-day operations, pointing out the importance of balancing its potential threats and opportunities.

The conference hosted a first-of-its-kind discussion on the Cyber Challenges for telecommunication, 5G, & IOT with ministers of ICT and communication specialists from Africa and around the globe, moderated by Amir Rapaport, the founder of Cybertech. 

Hon. Omar Naibu Mawaziri, Deputy Minister of Education, Tanzania, pointed out the importance of including cybersecurity education to create nations that are cyber-knowledgeable. It’s our collective responsibility to work together and support the younger generation in this domain.

Hon. Ousman A. Bah, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Gambia, further emphasized the role of collaboration in creating a resilient cyber ecosystem for Africa. This could be achieved through bilateral partnerships based on trust.

Adding to this sentiment, Hon. Dr. Jacob Maiju Korok, Deputy Minister of ICT & Postal Services, South Sudan, voiced his commitment to fostering cyber resilience and effectively handle emerging technologies.

Echoing these sentiments, Hon. Manirakiza Ferdinand, Deputy Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Burundi, reaffirmed that cybersecurity is a shared responsibility and necessitates collaboration.

Cybertech Africa, held in Kigali, Rwanda, brought together top-notch speakers, renowned universities, senior government officials, C-level executives, industry trailblazers, and leading decision-makers from across the continent and beyond. The event, hosted by Rwanda’s National Cyber Security Authority, Rwanda Convention Bureau, and Smart Africa, aimed to highlight the most relevant topics to Africa, including fintech, IoT and 5G, AI, critical infrastructure, and many more.

Through these exchanges, Cybertech strives to create a positive impact and bring unity and diversity to its cyber community. We endeavor to support the African continent’s cyber and innovation ecosystem by focusing on professional conferences, seminars, and special events.

The question remains: As young people, how can we participate and contribute to safeguarding Africa against cyber threats? Is cybersecurity a threat or an opportunity? The answer is: it’s both. And that’s the challenge of our generation. But armed with the right knowledge, the right skills, and the right attitudes, we’re more than capable of turning this challenge into an opportunity. 

In the ever-evolving digital world, it’s clear that we need a harmonized, collaborative, and informed approach. And most importantly, we need you – the youth – to be part of this journey. 

Straight out of Twitter