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On July 9-10, 2018, the Africa Cyber Defence Summit was hosted by Kenya’s Ministry of ICT and co-organised by Naseba, a Dubai-based business facilitation company and Nairobi-based Africa Cyberspace Network. Under the theme “Accelerating Africa’s Cyber Security Dialogue”, the summit promoted cyber security, fostered cyber security collaboration and facilitated the procurement of cyber security solutions in the continent.

With 1,331 registered attendees, representing 51 countries, the summit is one of the largest cyber security gatherings in Africa. These attendees represented a diverse set of backgrounds with 12% coming from Academia, 26% from the government sector and more than 50% from the BFSI and the private sector. The demographics ensured that cyber security was being promoted to every facet of the economy and continent.

During the summit, collaboration between regional and international organisations was identified as a key success factor for Africa to reach cyber resiliency. Mauritian Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Hon. Yogida Sawmynaden, MP and Kenya’s Principal Secretary of ICT, Jerome Ochieng urged during the summit for Africa to develop a common cyber security language. Government policymakers, CERTs, universities and the business community across the continent to learn to talk to each other proactively.

Prior to the summit, prospective attendees were surveyed to indicate their main reason for participation. 81% of respondents mentioned their intent to procure cyber security solutions for their organisations. Antimalware solutions, cloud security, email security, and next-gen firewalls were some of the most commonly needed solutions.

To facilitate their needs, the summit featured regional and international cyber security companies such as Trend Micro, KPMG, DarkTrace, Fortinet, Forcepoint, Sophos, Verint, Westcon Comstor, Kaspersky Lab, Mimecast, Malwarebytes, Infoblox and Manage Engine. These companies had pre-scheduled meetings and face to face discussions with the attending stakeholders to address their cyber security pain points and propose practical remedies.

Due to the summit’s success and demand from other African nations to address their national challenges and fasten cyber security adoption in their countries, Naseba will be hosting country-specific platforms across Africa. Public and private sector organisations, and cyber security solution providers will gather in focused groups to resolve challenges collectively.

Naveen Bharadwaj, Naseba’s Production Director said: “It was an honour partnering with the Kenyan government to host the inaugural Africa Cyber Defence Summit. Many on-site meetings between the stakeholders and solution providers have led to confirmed business and partnerships. We intend to leverage this success and replicate the approach in specific African countries to solve their national challenges.”

The first of the national series will launch in South Africa in November followed by other countries across the region such as Nigeria, Egypt, Mauritius and Senegal, to name a few.

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