Last week, on August 1-2, 2023, Cybertech arrived at the Kigali Convention Center in Kigali, Rwanda, in partnership with the Rwanda Ministry of ICT, Rwanda’s National Cyber Security Authority, the Rwanda Convention Bureau, and Smart Africa.
Over a hundred speakers, dozens of businesses, organizations, and startups, innovation, tech, and cyber ecosystems, top-notch speakers, renowned universities, senior government officials, and thousands of attendees – C-level executives, decision-makers, and students – gathered for two days to examine and share innovative solutions to cyber challenges facing the continent.
The topics most relevant to Africa were covered, including, but not limited to, ransomware, fintech, AI, critical infrastructure, and space cybersecurity. The most popular sessions proved to be those on Smart and Secure Cities, Capability Building, and Women in Tech and Cyber, not to mention the ten intriguing side events packed into the two-day schedule, including an exciting bankathon and hackathon, with winners announced live on the Cybertech stage.
The side events – an interactive discussion in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and the University of Berkeley, a roundtable of experts analyzing cybersecurity changes and challenges of IoT and 5G, Africa’s first CISO Summit, a talent summit for youth, a roundtable on continental cybersecurity, and BlackBerry and AWS’s session on security in the cloud – absorbed the attention of the attendees.
Dr. Emir Kremic, Ph.D., General Director, Federal Institute of Statistics, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, stated, “I cannot think of Cybertech without congratulating the team – and Amir Rapaport – for such a great and memorable event in Rwanda. The connections, the sharing of knowledge, and discussions of collaboration were like none other.”
The future of telecommunication was also a hot topic at the premier VON: Evolution Africa event, the first to take place in Africa in its 26-year history. Founder of VON: Evolution, Jeff Pulver said, “Witnessing the debut of Cybertech Africa was not only a moment of pride but also a testament to the region’s unbounded interest in cyber technologies.”
The embassy of Israel in Rwanda hosted a special networking breakfast meeting, where over one hundred speakers and VIPs listened to special addresses by Hon. Paula Ingabire, Rwanda Minister of ICT and Innovation, CEO of the Rwanda NCSA David Kanamugire, Cybertech founder Amir Rapaport, Emanuel Rosenblit, Director, Head of the Operational Engagement Center, CERT-IL, INCD, and Israeli Ambassador Ron Adam.
Cybertech Africa in Rwanda included an exciting exhibition of innovative cyber companies and startups, with three of those startups selected to pitch their ideas to the audience, and more hoping for the chance to present.
David Kanamugire, CEO of Rwanda’s National Cyber Security Authority: “Cybertech Africa 2023 brought a crucial platform, where senior government leaders, global cybersecurity experts, and tech innovators discussed topics shaping cybersecurity development in Africa. The event offered companies from Rwanda and across Africa a chance to showcase solutions addressing cybersecurity challenges. Cybertech provided over two hundred youths an opportunity to interact with industry leaders as they forge their future career paths in cybersecurity.”
Amir Rapaport, Cybertech founder, and co-author of Cyber Mania: “After years of careful planning with great partners, we finally achieved what we set out to do – merge the cyber talent in Africa to our Cybertech community, bringing forth unity and diversity. A very international event, Cybertech Africa exceeded our expectations. We are very excited and confident that the outcome will be a bigger and better collaboration for cyber in Africa.”
“Interacting with different professionals in the Cybertech industry was a rewarding experience. I thoroughly enjoyed learning from a diverse range of entrepreneurs, professionals, regulators, and other enthusiastic individuals in the Cybertech field,” Willine Ikirezi, Managing Director and Co-founder, Dotpharma Ltd., Rwanda.
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