The Commonwealth Secretariat has launched the Commonwealth Africa Cyber Fellowship programme to support member countries strengthen their cybersecurity, as cybercrime has cost Africa $3.5 billion (near £3 billion).
According to the Commonwealth Secretariat, cybercrime has cost the African economy close to £3 billion and stalled economic and industrial development – whilst largely exploiting vulnerable communities.
As cybercrime is one of the most pressing challenges plaguing economic activity in Africa, the launch and expansion of the fellowship programme comes at a time when protection against cybercrime in Africa is of the utmost importance.
The fellowship programme, which is being launched in partnership with Protection Group International (PGI) and with financial backing from the United Kingdom’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), is set to facilitate collaboration between cybersecurity and cybercrime experts from Commonwealth member countries in Africa and empower them by providing access, exposure, and training.
“At the Commonwealth Secretariat, we are constantly seeking new ways to assist member countries to build their capacity to fully leverage the benefits of the digital age,” said Dr. Tawanda Hondora, Head of the Rule of Law Division at the Commonwealth Secretariat.
“This flagship programme will create a robust community of excellence in Africa that leads the design and implementation of digital technologies and effective cybersecurity and anti-cybercrime frameworks.
“We couldn’t be more grateful that our collaboration with the FCDO and PGI has helped the Commonwealth Secretariat establish the fellowship programme, which will help us to learn from the fellows, who are experts in their fields of practice, and facilitate collaboration between member countries.”
The fellowship was established in 2017 by PGI with financial support from the UK’s FCDO as a network of cyber security policy experts and was formerly called the African Cyber Experts Fellowship.
Following a one-year transition period, the fellowship will now be housed and managed by the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Learn more: The Commonwealth Secretariat