Africa Cyber Defense Forum (ACDF), is an annual cybersecurity conference held in different cities across Africa and brings together the world’s leading security experts, front-line heroes, Government leaders, and executives from various industries to address the challenges of today’s threat landscape.
The forum held its 4th edition in Kigali, Rwanda at the Marriott Hotel from 14-16 November 2023 under the theme, The Intersection of Cybersecurity, Digital Trust and Africa’s Digital Economy.
With over 200 delegates in attendance, this year’s forum brought together thought leadership to individuals, professionals, entrepreneurs, and organizations to inform on local, global, and societal trends in cyberspace by developing and connecting cybersecurity experts in a global business-conscious platform.
The forum was officially opened by Rwanda’s Minister of ICT and Innovation, Ms. Paula Ingabire. She shared that a low level of preparedness can have significant consequences on the security and development of the African continent. Given this challenge, it is only logical for the public and private sectors to work more closely together to defend the shared cyberspace. She added that the public and private sectors must unite, exchange experiences, and cultivate a collaborative approach to cybersecurity,”
Speaking at the opening, the ACDF CEO Mr. Gilbert Nyandeje said that the forum will deliberate on crucial issues such as data protection, safeguarding critical national infrastructure, the intersection of AI and cybersecurity, and the importance of public-private cooperation in building a united front against global cybercrime challenges among many others.
Mr. William Baraza, the ACDF Chairman and AFRALTI Director said that having a well-coordinated continental proactive response to cybercrime activities is crucial for a nascent digital economy. Developing sophisticated cybersecurity response tools and teams is a key pillar in ensuring economies can recover swiftly from any downtime triggered by cybercrime activities.
This year, the African Telecommunication Union joined the forum where the Secretary-General Mr. John Omo gave a keynote emphasizing that international collaboration, partnerships, and sharing best practices are vital in addressing the knowledge and capacity gap (skilled workforce) challenge in cyber security. He also added that an informed populace is the first defense in cyberspace, and equipping the workforce is important to ensure cyber safety.
Organizations from across the ICT industry came together to support the forum as they offered strategic guidance to the annual event. The partners were; Enovise, The African Advanced Level Telecommunications Institute (AFRALTI), African Telecommunication Union (ATU), Threatseal, National Cybersecurity Authority of Rwanda, Kaspersky, Nexus In Groupe, NetGuardians and CompTIA.
A highlight of the event was Kaspersky’s announcement of the opening of its first transparency center in Africa. This development aligns with the forum’s goals by offering insights into Kaspersky’s engineering and data processing methods and demonstrating the company’s commitment to transparency in cybersecurity.