The internet is improving life for citizens everywhere.

CyberSmartBW Launch – 28 Sep. 2020

Speech Highlights:

Silvia Bopp Hamrouni

Head of the Political, Press and Information Section at the European Union Delegation to the Republic of Botswana and SADC

The internet is improving life for citizens everywhere.

The global economy is changing faster than ever before and one of the main drivers of that change is technology. The internet is a great driver of growth.

From health and energy, through science and technology, to logistics and retail, no sector is untouched by the advantages, solutions, and opportunities that the internet has created. Businesses, banks, utility services and government agencies here in Botswana now rely on IT systems to provide a flow of information that enables a fast delivery of services.

But, as with everything, this relatively new technology brings risks.

 As more and more people move online – and it is estimated that there are now 50 billion devices connected to the internet – cyber-attacks are a growing phenomenon. These attacks do not stop at big business or government.  Our personal social media systems and phone apps can also leave us more vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

The European Union recognises the link between cyber security and economic development.

That is why we are particularly happy to partner with civil society, to help make people recognise the importance of adopting cyber hygiene practices. As we familiarise ourselves with the internet, we must learn to also use it safely.

Just as we teach our children how to tie their shoes or ride a bike, we must also educate them about the risks of internet and how to adopt safe online practices.

The CyberSmart BW campaign is designed to teach young people about both the risks of the internet, and the precautions they can take to protect themselves.

During the month of October – labelled Cyber Security Awareness month –  the campaign will be broadcasting a series of tips, and organising online discussions with internet experts, to help people learn more about cybersecurity; as well as organising a competition that you will learn more about today.

The CyberSmart campaign is only one example of the work carried out by the EU funded Cyber4Dev project to help the government of Botswana establish a safe and resilient cyber space.

The project has also supported the work of the Ministry of Transport and Communications and BOCRA in the development of national cyber security capacities. It is working with national stakeholders to further develop skills, knowledge and resilience by concentrating on three major areas:

  • Policies – Strengthening cyber security policy, strategy and systems
  • Training – Increasing the ability to respond to breaches in cyber security
  • Integration – Encouraging international partnerships and networks to share the expertise and information needed to ensure cyber resilience.

So with the launch of the Cyber Smart campaign, and our ongoing efforts to enhance cyber resilience, the EU stands committed to promoting an open and safe cyber space for all.