Man uses virtual reality glasses

Kenya / Uganda / South Sudan / Rwanda / Mauritius How IT security can strengthen the digital economy and market position

Sub-Saharan Africa
DEG
Classic
Education & Training Digitalisation

A shortage of investment in cyber security and training is leading to security gaps and putting the competitiveness of many companies in East Africa at risk. Together with DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH, SEC Consult Deutschland Unternehmensberatung GmbH has launched a training programme to improve the quality of cyber resilience and strengthen the local digital economy as a whole. It is training local IT staff to become experts in cyber security. A virtual knowledge platform connects stakeholders and is enabling the project’s success to reach a wider audience, which ensures that cyber security improves on the whole and businesses are viably positioned for the future. In this way, SEC Consult is also strengthening its role as a provider of speciality IT security solutions and positioning itself as a professional service provider in East Africa. The project is part of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development’s develoPPP programme

Cyber attacks – whether incidents of hacking, computer fraud or data theft – put digital business models and critical infrastructure at risk. Despite the severe threat they pose, just 10 per cent of African companies are protected against cyber attacks. The lack of skilled IT experts and training opportunities is one reason why. Yet anybody investing in IT security will strengthen their company’s future and competitiveness. This is where SEC Consult comes in: the consulting firm is upskilling IT staff working for East African companies so that they can become cyber security experts and be better equipped to identify and ward off attacks. SEC Consult has developed a virtual conference and knowledge sharing platform for all aspects of IT and cyber security issues as a means of widely disseminating the project’s success. Local associations, universities and partner companies are also on board. Two virtual reality (VR) studios can broadcast training sessions, presentations and lectures to a virtual conference centre. Students, junior IT professionals and IT experts join in by putting on VR glasses; they share ideas across regions and benefit from the high level of expertise.

To build expertise in cyber security and IT and empower East African companies in these fields, the project partners carried out the following measures between 2018 and 2022 with a funding volume of about EUR 650,000 in Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan and Mauritius:

  • Training 10 IT experts at companies in Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda to become certified trainers with subsequent assessment by TÜV Rheinland.
  • Providing the trained cyber security experts with additional independent training.
  • Establishing virtual conference centres (VCC) in Kigali (Rwanda) and Nairobi (Kenya) and connecting them with an existing studio in Saarbrücken (Germany).
  • Holding virtual conferences with SEC Consult experts, using VR glasses.
  • Using networks with local start-up centres to attract training participants.
  • Forging cooperation between local and German institutions and industry associations.

SEC Consult developed, organised and carried out the training sessions and conferences, coordinated procurement and testing of the necessary technology and provided IT expertise. DEG provided the required funding.
 

Our training empowers local companies to protect themselves against cyber attacks and improve their market position. Working with develoPPP and our local partner, YelBridges, we have disseminated our expertise using the latest VR technology and improved the quality of cyber resilience in these countries.
Wolfgang Baumgartner, General Manager SEC Consult
Men use virtual reality glasses
With the help of virtual reality glasses, digital conferences can take place. Photo: © Steve Mambo
Group picture SEC
The participants of the cybersecurity training benefit from their newly acquired knowledge. Photo: © Steve Mambo

East African IT experts are able to better recognise and ward off cyber attacks and protect their systems thanks to their training in security issues. This new knowledge helps local companies to land business in the IT sector and creates jobs. The training sessions enabled SEC Consult to form effective networks, consolidate its position as a professional service provider and gain a foothold in East Africa. Once trained, local professionals can independently share what they have learned and also carry out commissions from SEC Consult. The consulting firm is also rolling out its portfolio of training on a broad scale by putting on VR conferences that save resources.

  • In 2018 and 2019, 10 IT experts received training to become cyber security experts and were TÜV-approved.
  • Fifty-four IT security experts received further training in 2018 and 2019.
  • By 2022, more than 1,000 employees and students in IT-related areas took part in virtual conferences and benefited from the transfer of expert knowledge.
     

DEVELOPMENT SUCCESSES

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Transferring and disseminating IT standards and technology

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Training in cyber security

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New business and jobs for local companies

BUSINESS SUCCESSES

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Establishing as competitive specialist in East Africa

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Brand management in cyber security

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Building up an industry network

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develoPPP Classic

develoPPP Classic is aimed at medium-sized and large companies that want to invest sustainably in a developing or emerging country and expand their operational activities locally. Suitable projects receive technical and financial support of up to two million euros in public funding.

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SEC Consult Unternehmensberatung GmbH

SEC Consult is a leading provider of cyber and application security consulting services. The company specialises in introducing information security management systems, NIS security audits, penetration tests, support for ISO 27001 certification, cyber defence and secure software. SEC Consult is part of Eviden, an Atos business.

Logo DEG

DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH

As subsidiary of KfW, DEG promotes the social and ecological transition of the private sector in developing and emerging-market countries. It supports partner companies with financing expertise and entrepreneurial know-how to implement impactful develoPPP projects under their own management.

Wolfgang Baumgartner
Wolfgang Baumgartner General Manager SEC Consult Unternehmensberatung GmbH
Daniel Thomann
Daniel Thomann Head of Programme DEG Impulse gGmbH