Dar es Salaam, Tanzania – October 24, 2023 – In a concerted effort to bolster the resilience of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and fortify the digital economy, the the East African Business Council (EABC) and the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), in collaboration with EAC-GIZ, East African Women in Business Platform (EAWiBP), and Serensic Africa, recently conducted a transformative three-day sensitization workshop on cybersecurity in the vibrant city of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Bolstering Tanzania’s Digital Hub Status.
Tanzania has solidified its position as a digital hub in East Africa, thanks to a supportive government framework encouraging investments in the digital economy while ensuring protection against cyber-attacks. According to Mr. Zephania Shaidi, representing the EABC CEO, “Tanzania currently ranks among the nations with robust digital connectivity in East Africa, with mobile phone subscriptions surpassing the number of adult citizens, and mobile internet access reaching nearly 46% of the 42 million mobile phone users.”
However, with the rapid proliferation of technology, the scope of cyber threats has widened, affecting individuals and businesses alike. Small business owners in Tanzania, in particular, grapple with the challenges of safeguarding their vital online information due to a lack of knowledge and resources.
Empowering Small Business Owners
This workshop was meticulously designed to equip business owners with the skills needed to secure their information, defend against financial losses, and combat gender-based vulnerabilities. The program aimed to address the pressing need for heightened cybersecurity awareness, particularly among women and youth entrepreneurs.
Acknowledging Vital Support
In his closing remarks, Mr. Shaidi expressed his profound appreciation to EAC-GIZ through the dSkills@EA project and Serensic Africa for their invaluable support. He also extended gratitude to the EABC National Focal Point, Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), and the East African Women in Business Platform (EAWiBP) for their pivotal role in mobilizing participants.
A Unified Effort for Cybersecurity Awareness
The workshop brought together an impressive assembly of government officials, private sector representatives, and SME leaders, who all agreed on the pressing need for heightened cybersecurity awareness.
The Closing Ceremony: A Pinnacle Moment
The culminating event was marked by the closing ceremony, where key figures in attendance included Dr. Moses Mukudwe, Director General of Tanzania ICT Commission, Mr. John Bosco Kalisa, CEO of EABC, Dr. Samuel, EABC Goodwill Ambassador, Ms. Lilian Akot, representing GIZ-EAC, and Ms. Ester Mengi, CEO of Serensic Africa Ltd.
Dr. Moses emphasized the importance of leveraging government infrastructure for innovation among Tanzanian youth to stimulate digital economic growth.
John Bosco Kalisa expressed appreciation for the collaborative efforts with GIZ EAC and advocated for a more flexible approach to loan requirements for young innovators. He stressed the necessity of government support to combat cybersecurity threats that affect SMEs, women, and youth, emphasizing that cybersecurity is a shared responsibility.
Dr. Samuel acknowledged Mr. Kalisa’s dedication to enhancing the capabilities of youth and women and urged each participant to apply what they’ve learned. He emphasized that cybersecurity is an ongoing process, requiring vigilance, adaptation to new threats, and continuous improvement of defenses.
Ms. Lilian Akot from GIZ EAC reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing the digital skills of SMEs, young women, and youth to enhance their employability and competitiveness.
Mrs. Ester Mengi, a facilitator, called for government backing to foster innovation among youth and women, thus mitigating cyber threats. She also introduced a new solution for detecting cybersecurity threats for SMEs, named Askari.
The EABC team commends the unwavering commitment of all involved in this transformative workshop and anticipates a brighter, more secure future for Tanzania’s digital landscape.