Cybersmart Challenge 2021 Winners Announced

25 year old University of Botswana graduate Rudisang Morake is the 2021 Cybersmart Challenge 1st Prize Winner.

Morake, a BSc Computing with Finance graduate beat 159 other participants to emerge the winner.

The 2nd Prize went to another University of Botswana graduate with a degree in Civil Engineering 24 year old Lone Mojalemotho while the 3rd Prize went to 16 year old Form 4 Student at Rainbow School, Katso Mochotlhi.

The Cybersmart Champion is a competition introduced in 2020 to promote cybersecurity and online safety awareness among the youth. Through a competition, participants are challenged to learn about cybersecurity and then create informational and awareness messages in video form in which they express their knowledge and understanding of online risks and ways while sharing cybersecurity tips.

They are then invited to submit their entries and stand a chance to win prizes.

In 2021, the 1st Prize winner walked away with P5, 000 in cash, a laptop, 12 months BTC internet subscription and a BTC Smega Card with P1,000 cash credit. The 2nd Prize winner scooped P2, 500 cash, a laptop, 12 months BTC internet subscription and a BTC Smega Card with P1,000 cash credit while the 2rd prize winner walked away with each of the listed prizes except for a cash prize.

The Cybersmart Challenge is organized by InFuture Foundation and supported by the Ministry of Transport and Communications, EU Delegation in Botswana, Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation and Cyber4Dev.

Minister Segokgo

Giving remarks at a Prize Giving Ceremony in Gaborone this week, the Minister of Transport and Communications, Thulagano Segokgo described the Cybersmart Challenge as one initiative that is critical in equipping young people with strategies to protect themselves online, addressing issues of moral decay such as cyberbullying and most importantly empowering young people to seek help when faced with online dilemmas.

Segokgo indicated that investment in cybersecurity awareness especially amongst the youth, who he said are an easy target for online scammers is of great importance in creating a generation that is cybersmart.

The Minister noted that the youth are techno-savvy and most vulnerable when it comes to cyber threats, and that as such are often exposed to cyber-attacks more frequently than adults. He added that the Cybersmart Challenge could therefore not have come a better time.

Ambassador Sadek

For his part, the Head of the EU Delegation to Botswana & SADC, Ambassador Jan Sadek acknowledged the visionary aspirations of President Mokgweetsi Masisi to digitize the economy through such programmes as the Botswana Economic Recovery and Transformation Plan and the SmartBots Project.

He however cautioned that none of these measures are more important than making sure that everyone takes cyber security seriously.

Ambassador Sadek noted that helping citizens understand the importance of cybersecurity awareness can be a challenge, hence the EU has been working with partners, including Botswana, to promote the establishment of a secure digital infrastructure.

Through a programme called Cyber Resilience for Development, the EU provides cybersecurity capacity building to Botswana.

Giving an overview of the Cybersmart Challenge, Competition Coordinator, David Moepeng noted that the Competition continues to record significant growth, with about 160 entries received in 2021 as compared to 100 entries in 2020.

Moepeng revealed that the initiative is the only one of its kind in Southern Africa, adding that they have been contacted by organisations in neighboring countries such as Namibia, Zambia and Malawi, that would like to copy the model and replicate it in their countries.

He also mentioned that earlier in 2021, the Cybersmart Challenge was profiled in an international Cyber magazine, the Global Cyber Expertise Magazine, which gave Botswana international recognition.

1st Prize Winner – Rudisang Morake