Kenya’s cyber security skillset deficit is set to be reduced by adding 5,000 professionals to the pool. The process to do so kicked off with the graduation of the first cohort of 200 executives from various banking and financial sector consulting institutions who had received practical training under the novel Cyber Shujaa program designed by the Kenya Bankers Association in partnership with USIU Africa and Serianu. The program is funded by the Challenge Fund for Youth Employment (CFYE).
In a speech read on her behalf by Anthony Gachanja, the Systems Auditor at Central Bank of Kenya during the graduation held at USIU-Africa, Central Bank of Kenya Deputy Governor Ms. Sheila M’Mbijiwe noted that training is a major contribution to creating a safer and secure cyberspace that underpins the Kenyan financial sector, pointing out that the protection of personal and corporate data is central to the integrity and sustainability of the country’s national payment system.
“We are witnessing a shift from informations scarcity to an abundance of data, siloed transactional systems to a coherent and integrated system. A great future abounds but cyber risks remain a wedge between us and the desired digital utopia,” she said, adding that practical training delivered by programs like Cyber Shujaa are expected to enhance cyber risk mitigation for organizations and the economy at large.
Cyber Shujaa, seeks to address existing gaps within the ICT and Cybersecurity sector, where demand is estimated at 10,000 professionals, by designing practical curriculums, conducting vigorous training for the participants and providing market placement and mentorship of these youth.
USIU-Africa Interim Vice Chancellor Prof. Freida Brown said that the graduates from the Cyber Shujaa Program will assist their organizations to become more compliant with Data Protection and Cyber Security.
“The gap and shortage in cyber skills is continuing to grow, leaving organizations and professionals feeling unprepared for different types of cyber threats. The cybersecurity technology stack has advanced along with sophisticated cyberattacks. It is now more important than ever that organizations make training a top priority and ensure the people leveraging these tools have the skill sets to do so effectively,” Prof. Brown said.
“Cyber Shujaa is a multi-agency program that prepares executives in cyber risk management and data protection with practical knowledge and skills that they would otherwise not receive during their academic programs or on the job training,” said Brencil Kaimba, the Lead Data Protection Trainer and Serianu Head of Product Development.