A call to the African Union for an integrated cyber force safeguarding Africa’s future and security

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Wesley Diphoko, Head of the Independent Media Lab and the founder of the Kaya Labs in CAPE TOWN, has recently published an article in the Soth African Star calling for African countries to efficiently collabourate against the serious challenges facing the continent against internet security stating that the continent is vulnerable. He refers to the success of the The Bundeswehr (The 6th branch of the German army), which constitutes of about 14000 cyber army of German soldiers and civilian contractors who are currently engaged in dealing with cyber defence and threats from a number of different locations. They have been brought together under a single entity. As such, there is a need to develop young people who will defend the continent online.

The first step in this regard is working towards an understanding of digital skills that exists on the continent. The Independent Media Lab is beginning a process of creating such a force as part of its efforts to safeguard the African digital space. The next step in this regard will be to focus on the African reputation on platforms such as the Wikipedia. Currently Wikipedia has lots of inaccurate information about Africa, such as its people, organisations and historical records. The Lab will focus on ensuring that Africa is well represented online. The Independent Media Lab is in search of organisations that are also interested in protecting the African digital space. Universities, organisations, technologists and entrepreneurs and governments are invited to work with us firstly in translating the internet into African languages, improving the African reputation online and by nurturing future African technology leaders. All African countries should collabourate in setting up a continent-wide defence platform by nurturing young technology people. Once this process is in place, data about Africa’s digital skills should always be maintained to inform training needs as technology evolves.”

Such a call for an integrated African cyber force safe-guarding Africa’s future and security, can be established immediately as the diversity of knowledge and skills within the continent is vast and highly efficient, to integrate through the African Union and African entrepreneur’s support and sponsorship, will validate the African Union’s purpose and value in developing solutions to the continent’s challenges. Further more, such integration can also yield returns by adding a unit that identifies and supports growing technology start-Ups in Africa, by providing a database to collect their data, support them in marketing their services and products as well as safeguarding their copy rights. Such a vision can only come true through an African Union initiative to bring along such a collabouration between the academic and government circles into a reality.

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