CyberSmartBW Challenge Winners Announced

EU Ambassador Jan Sadek and Minister Hon. Thulagano Segokgo presided over the award ceremony for the CyberSmart Challenge BW on November 17 held in Cresta Lodge, Gaborone at which Selwana Motlatsi Motsemeng, Amogelang Tshukudu, Winnie Motsement and Marang Angela Kgosiyang walked away with the first, second, and joint third prizes respectively.

The award ceremony marked the culmination of a brief, but as the Ambassador of the EU pointed out, highly successful campaign that has achieved “a very real increase in the conversation about cyber security” in Botswana.

Learning basic cyber security habits is very important, because as the minister highlighted, “much is spoken of the risks from hackers of the internet.  But many of those risks are self inflicted.  If we don’t learn what precautions to take, then we are more vulnerable.  Just as we are more vulnerable if we cross the road without looking right and left”.  The Minister added that while the Government has just approved its national cyber Security Strategy setting out a range of measures that will be taken to keep our internet safe, everything starts with the habits of the user.

The award ceremony came at the end of a 6-week campaign initiated by eBotho with support from the EU-funded Cyber4Dev project to promote greater cyber awareness.

The campaign included a media and social media campaign as well as outreach to schools.  As a challenge young people between the ages of 14 and 21 were invited to express themselves in 2 minute or less on the importance of cyber security and how they thought people could best protect themselves.

The response was tremendous said David Moepeng, eBotho Programme Coordinator.  “Not only did we get over 100 entries, but the quality was really encouraging. Young Botswana are ready demonstrating an understanding of the cyber security measures that our country needs, as well as the creativity that is needed to help others understand what they need to do.  In fact, ‘our international jury couldn’t limit it to three winners” he confessed. “So we have four.  And even then there are many more that we wished we could have awarded. But we certainly hope to work with these bright engaged young people in future campaigns.

The campaign was funded by the EU through the Cyber4Dev project, which has been supporting the Government of Botswana in its efforts to to strengthen cybersecurity.