Africa Cybersmart Network Launched To Driver Cybersecurity Awareness In The Continent

The African Cybersmart Network was launched last week in Nairobi, Kenya to facilitate capacity building and collaboration between cybersecurity awareness promoters in the continent. 

The launch happened on the sidelines of the 2023 Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum, an annual 3-day multi-stakeholder forum for discussions on digital policy issues in Africa.

Speaking during the launch event, the Lead Coordinator of the African Cybersmart Network, David Moepeng stated that the network was formed following a realisation that, as Africa increasingly becomes digitalized, internet users on the continent are becoming exposed to various forms of cyberattacks, particularly cybercrime.

According to Moepeng, who is a qualified Cyberpsychologist and works as a Cybersecurity Awareness Specialist at Cybersmart Botswana, the vulnerability of Africans to cyberattacks is exacerbated by rampant risky online behaviors and practices.

“These behaviors include oversharing of private and personal information on social media platforms, responding to phishing messages and other forms of online scams, use of weak passwords, risky web browsing which usually happens when people visit unsecured websites or click on links from strangers, which often leads to malware attacks and hacking”, Moepeng pointed out. 

The African Cybersmart Network has been formed to intensify public education and promote safe online behaviors by facilitating capacity building through training, collaboration and knowledge exchange between cybersecurity awareness promoters as well as resource mobilization for public education campaigns.

In its 2023 African Cyberthreat Assessment Report, Interpol noted that cybercriminals were having no limits in terms of sharing resources and know-how, which is in part what allows them to thrive. The International Criminal Police Organization advised that, by the same token, communities and societies needed to bind themselves closer together via the exchange of information to effectively curb cybercrime. 

“In order to reduce the impact of cybercrime and protect communities for a safer world, society must stay abreast of new trends and develop innovative means of responding to them. Doing this in a timely fashion will discourage possible criminal activity and dissuade potential perpetrators in advance”, stated the Interpol report.

For her part, the East Africa Coordinator of the African Cybersmart Network, Jackline Njagi Lidubwi,  said membership to the network is open to non-profit organisations in Africa that are running programmes and campaigns to educate societies about cyber threats. 
She noted that, the commonality of cyber threats across African borders requires similar techniques, hence a decision to bring Africa together to counter cyber-attacks as one.

Lidubwi added that member organisations will benefit from regular training programmes meant to ensure that public education programmes in the continent stay up to date with the ever evolving trends in cyber threats.

Previous Post Next Post