Africa: American Business Council and Stakeholders Launch Cybersecurity Hub to Boost Capacity in Africa

American Business Council and Stakeholders Launch Cybersecurity Hub to Boost Capacity in Africa
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The American Business Council (ABC) and key stakeholders have introduced a cybersecurity hub aimed at enhancing the skills of young technology enthusiasts and fostering a comprehensive cybersecurity ecosystem. The CEO of ABC, Mrs. Margaret Olele, shared this information during a virtual media parley in Lagos with the theme “Cybersecurity Accessibility in Africa – Creating an Inclusive Cyberspace.”

The cyber hub, established in collaboration with Comercio Ltd., Nithub, Cisco, and the University of Lagos, addresses the significant shortage of certified cybersecurity professionals in Africa, estimated at 100,000 persons by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.

Olele emphasized the importance of building human capacity for cybersecurity through education, training, innovation, research, and policy development as long-term strategies to secure the African digital space. She highlighted the need for a culture of cybersecurity awareness and resilience across public and private sectors.

The CEO urged both the government and private sector to increase investments in cybersecurity to protect businesses from cyber attacks and maintain a secure investment ecosystem. The launch of the cybersecurity hub aims to attract cyber enthusiasts in the educational sector, providing training opportunities and competitions to bolster Nigeria’s digital sector.

Olele outlined the hub’s broader impact, stating, “What we are developing with this cyber hub is starting from Nigeria but not for Nigeria alone, as we would expand from here and potentially export these talents even under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area.”

Ms. Julie Leblanc, Senior Commercial Officer, United States Commercial Service, Lagos, emphasized the critical role of technology in commerce. She expressed the commitment of the U.S. commercial service to fostering robust commercial relationships for the economic growth and stability of both Nigeria and the U.S.

Dr. Bala Fakandu, Manager, Nigeria Computer Emergency Response Team, highlighted the vulnerability of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to cyber threats. He stressed the importance of affordable cyber tools to address cyber defense expenditure for MSMEs and urged businesses to establish a community for collective cybersecurity defense.

Mrs. Aderonke Adeyegbe, CEO of Comercio Ltd., emphasized the need for Africa to create policies around cybersecurity, especially considering the accelerated digital infrastructure during the COVID-19 pandemic. She noted the cyber hub’s role in creating a talent factory to address the shortage of cybersecurity experts globally.

Dr. Victor Odunmuyiwa, Director, National Information Technology Development Agency Hub, University of Lagos, expressed concern over the shortage of talents in the cybersecurity domain and outlined plans to produce diverse talents with the right competencies and capacities through the new cyber hub. The hub will initially cater to University of Lagos students and later expand to students from other universities and interested individuals.

The establishment of the cybersecurity hub reflects a proactive approach to address the evolving cybersecurity landscape and build a skilled workforce to navigate digital challenges in Africa.

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