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GITEX Africa 2024: Bridging the gap between technological advancement and cybersecurity

Africa is experiencing a digital revolution. With internet connectivity reaching 40% of the population, a new era of economic opportunity is blossoming. However, this progress brings a hidden threat: a growing vulnerability to cyberattacks.

As the continent embraces cutting-edge technologies like cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT), GITEX Africa 2024 emerges as a crucial platform to address this critical challenge. Held in Marrakech from May 29-31, GITEX Africa is set to assemble a powerhouse of speakers to dissect the complex landscape of African cybersecurity. This year’s lineup boasts a diverse range of experts, each bringing their unique insights to the forefront.

Ghita Mezzour, Morocco’s Minister Delegate for Digital Transition and Administrative Reform, will undoubtedly be a key figure at the event. An esteemed academic and entrepreneur, Mezzour possesses a deep understanding of the technological landscape, with expertise in big data, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity. Her experience piloting projects on youth employability and threat intelligence ideally positions her to discuss the need for a skilled workforce equipped to combat cyber threats.

Another prominent speaker is Mohamed Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cyber Security for the UAE Government. Al Kuwaiti’s focus on building a comprehensive national data security strategy aligns with Africa’s need for robust frameworks. His expertise in detecting and responding to cyber warfare, coupled with his experience in national cyber policy development, will prove invaluable in shaping discussions on fortifying Africa’s digital defenses.

Beyond government officials, GITEX Africa welcomes industry leaders from across the globe. Nicola Sotira, Head of CERT at Poste Italiane, will bring a unique perspective on securing critical infrastructure in an interconnected world. Saskia Steinacker, Global Head of Digital Transformation at Bayer, will offer insights on navigating the security challenges posed by the rapid proliferation of AI and IoT in various sectors.

Africa’s own entrepreneurial spirit will also be on display. Noureddine Tayebi, founder of the Algerian ride-hailing app Yassir, will likely share his experiences navigating the complexities of securing user data in a mobile-first environment. Renaud Glenisson, Regional CEO for Jumia, Africa’s leading e-commerce platform, will undoubtedly address the specific challenges of safeguarding online transactions in a continent with a burgeoning digital marketplace.

GITEX Africa states on their website that they recognize the importance of a global approach to cybersecurity. By bringing together experts from Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, the conference is set to foster collaboration and knowledge-sharing, a crucial step in building a more secure digital future for the continent. Furthermore, the participation of figures like Dragoș Tudorache, a former Romanian Minister of Internal Affairs, underscores the event’s commitment to fostering international cooperation in combating cybercrime.

Africa’s digital revolution is undeniable, but its success hinges on robust cybersecurity measures. As the continent embraces new technologies, GITEX Africa 2024 aims to serve as a timely platform to bridge the gap between technological advancement and digital security. Through open dialogue and collaboration between government officials, industry leaders, and international experts, GITEX Africa is set to empower the continent to navigate the exciting, yet perilous, waters of the digital age.