Kampala– The East Africa Cybersecurity Clinic, a regional conference aimed at finding solutions to combat cyber threats in the region, has opened at Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort & Spa at Entebbe.
The four-day event organised by the World Bank Group, the National Information Technology Authority Uganda, the East African Community and the Government of Israel kicked off this morning and will end on June 2, 2018.
The clinic is expected to support participating countries foster cybersecurity at the national and regional levels by identifying challenges and opportunities to move forward their cybersecurity agenda; building capacity in key cybersecurity areas such as policy, legal and regulatory frameworks, critical Infrastructure Protection, setup of cybersecurity institutions and developing a regional approach to solve cybersecurity challenges.
A press statement from the organisers says, the increasing global interconnectivity and growth of digital technologies have amplified exposure to cyber risks and threats, making cybersecurity an emergent public good.
“Governments are looking to protect their citizens, data, communications and critical infrastructure through national policies, laws, and strong institutions,” a statement from the organisers, reads.
Boutheina Guermazi, Practice Manager of the World Bank’s Transport and Digital Development Global Practice, said as governments continue to focus on building their digital economies, attention to cybersecurity and an overall environment of trust should be front and centre to these efforts.
“We are confident that this event will not only raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity, but also start laying the foundation for the design and development of cybersecurity frameworks and initiatives in the public sector, and help advance regional collaboration and synergies in the area.”
Mr James Saaka, the Executive Director NITA-U said; “The clinic will allow Uganda to interact, learn and share experiences with the diverse global audience that is in attendance. This is in line with the importance of cybersecurity to create an environment that allows secure and safe digital transactions for Ugandan citizens.”
The cybersecurity clinic is part of a broader effort funded by the Ministry of Economy and Industry of Israel, focusing on cybersecurity capacity building In Africa. This joint initiative will enable African countries to experience cybersecurity best practices and be in contact with global expertise for building trusted digital environments.
According to the Israel Minister for Economy and Industry, Eli Eliyahu Cohen, his country is happy to share its knowledge with other countries.
“Witnessing the digital development around the world, we believe cybersecurity is an integral aspect of any digital activity to make sure countries will be protected from the risks which come with it. Israel managed to build state-of-the-art cybersecurity infrastructure, generating nation-scale abilities, an atmosphere of cooperation between all stakeholders, and a favourable business environment for private sector involvement. These best practices are available for any country which is seeking to build its own systems and we are here to support them in this process,” he said.
The target group
The clinic targets public officials responsible for cybersecurity policies in their jurisdictions to help them expand their knowledge of cyber operations, technology and policy.
Participants include governmental officials from East African Community member countries and representatives from other countries like Djibouti, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria and Somalia. The clinic will also lay the foundation to support regional integration of cybersecurity protection.