Africa News Bulletin

Djibouti: Strengthening the Cybersecurity Skills of State IT Engineers

Powered by the “Smart Talent” which is a transversal axis of the national roadmap “Smart Nation” stems from the vision of his Excellency the President of the Republic Ismaël Omar Guelleh, who has placed digital as a vector for the growth of the country. The roadmap emphasizes and integrates all sectors to offer public and private companies various innovative digital services to users.

Unfortunately, with this development comes the emergence of IT risks and threats, inherent in any digitalization process.

These risks and threats are already of concern to the State, the various actors and also the users. They take the form of intrusion attempts, attempts to disrupt normal operation, attempts to exfiltrate information on digital systems and infrastructures, and digital services.

It is with this in mind that the delegate ministry in charge of the digital economy and innovation in partnership with the European Union organized yesterday at the Sheraton hotel a five-day workshop on strengthening the cybersecurity skills of IT engineers from the STATE.

The event brought together on site the director of digital transformation of the Delegate Ministry in charge of Digital Economy and Innovation Mr. Abdallah Ibrahim Omar, the 1st adviser and head of the political section of the European Union in Djibouti Mr. Fabrice Basile, security experts, consultants or auditors whose role is to verify the security of computer systems.

The Delegate Ministry for the Digital Economy and Innovation in partnership with the European Union as part of the IDGC project for the Horn of Africa Initiative has worked on digital development through two actions . In one of these two actions, the objective will be pursued by strengthening cybersecurity in the digital ecosystem and has been implemented for Expertise France since March 2021. The objective of this training is to learn how to identify weaknesses in a network and gain knowledge to systematically test and exploit internal and external defenses following an established methodology. It will also teach the countermeasures to be taken to mitigate the IT risks incurred by the institution.

The training provides, in addition to the theoretical disciplines necessary to model and solve the problems posed, practical work which makes it possible to apprehend in depth how to prevent or counter attacks in an environment close to professional reality.

As a reminder, according to the 2018 report on cybersecurity in Africa, cybercrimes cost 3.5 billion dollars to African economies in 2017. Jeune Afrique, estimates that between January and August 2020, 28 million cyberattacks took place in Africa . At the regional level, Kenya loses nearly $210 million annually due to Cybercrime.

On our continent, losses related to cybercrime are estimated at 3.5 billion dollars. Cybersecurity is an indispensable factor for a successful, sustainable and efficient digital transformation. Indeed, dealing with cybersecurity issues as soon as possible, at the heart of the development of digital services and digital transformation, will contribute not

only level the playing field for the digital economy in the country, but will improve its resilience and reduce its vulnerability.

Thus, the Delegate Ministry for the Digital Economy and Innovation (MDENI) in partnership with the European Union (EU) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation of the Federal Republic of Germany, as part of the project IDGC for the Horn of Africa Initiative has worked to build a coherent approach to reduce Djibouti’s exposure to cyber threats.

The support provided by the multi-donors will be through different actions:

➢ A report on the assessment of Djibouti’s level of maturity in terms of cybersecurity and the identification of needs;

➢ Then the establishment of a strategic, institutional framework through the development of a national cybersecurity and critical infrastructure protection strategy is under way and the results are expected in the first half of 2023.

➢ Raising the awareness of State agents to computer hygiene and to decision-makers on their responsibilities in terms of securing cyberspace;

➢ Improving security incident management capabilities, supporting the creation of Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs) and training of responsible teams.

In a brief speech made on the spot, the director of digital transformation of the Delegate Ministry in charge of Digital Economy and Innovation Mr. Abdallah Ibrahim Omar declared “With the large-scale development of digital uses, cyberspace is taking overriding importance; the whole economy, financial and administrative transactions depend on it. It is becoming crucial to carry out discussions and actions in order to ensure the continuity of services and their maintenance in operational working conditions; by guaranteeing a national cybersecurity strategy and policy, unifying all the public bodies of the State and the private sector”.

La Nation

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