Why Enhanced Cybersecurity Solutions Are Critical In Africa

By Dr Thierry K. Wandji

I’ve worked in almost all aspects of cybersecurity, academic research, and teaching in the defense and intelligence fields, in the private industry, and a long stint in the U.S. Navy and the Naval Research Laboratory. A passion I now share through my company, Cybastion, which specializes in cybersecurity and e-government solutions.

Cybastion is an American company, and an emerging leader in cybersecurity, with a footprint in eight African countries.

Often in Africa, and indeed globally, cybersecurity is seen as an afterthought because it doesn’t provide functionalities – just protection. Even though it may seem like the gains cybersecurity brings don’t offer an immediate return on investment, it must be a core focus.

To boost African economies and become bigger players in global markets, African countries need to improve and advance their cybersecurity solutions. Our mission for Africa is to extend the best of the US’s technology and solutions to defend Africa’s digital platforms.

One of the biggest strengths of America’s cybersecurity strategy is that every state collaborates and is interconnected with a common strategy but with different levels of implementation.  

We have taken a similar approach to our work in Africa. We believe a regional solution is the most effective for the continent. Countries need to cooperate and work together and adopt similar strategies, as this will help them be more powerful in combating cyber threats. This regional solution will also bring a collective bargaining power and this strength can reduce the prices of technology and digital solutions on the continent. Countries that work together are stronger together.

Cybersecurity is a crucial foundational element for tech-enabled growth on the continent. This is why we’ve partnered with several American universities to train the next generation of cybersecurity experts in both private and public sectors. The African population is mostly young and, this translates into incredible wealth for the digital economy. If the youth are harnessed and properly trained – they will develop the products of the future. They will create an eco-system that can grow proportionally with their country’s GDP. The training resources available in the US are among the best in the world and, we are excited to share these opportunities with Africa.

The continent is bursting with potential, however, its thriving digital ecosystem is accompanied with an increased risk of exposure and vulnerability to cyber attacks, hence the need for strong and robust cybersecurity solutions to be emplaced. This powerful tool can help fight corruption and strengthen the business environment in countries.

We want to see a stronger, safer, more secure digital Africa – one – that is totally in control of its cybersecurity and online environment. We ultimately aspire for a self-reliant Africa in terms of cybersecurity capabilities. Cybastion is honored to play a part in taking Africa on this journey.

Dr. Thierry K. Wandji is the President and CEO of Cybastion and is a US-Africa Business Center board member at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He also serves at two Centers for Cybersecurity Academy Excellence in the U.S. as the Director of Cybersecurity Education at North Carolina State University and Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland.

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