AU-GFCE Collaboration Project
The AU-GFCE Collaboration project was first set up at the beginning of 2021. The project aims to identify cyber capacity building (CCB) needs and enable African Union Member countries to better understand cyber capacities and support them in strengthening their cyber resilience, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Through the two-year collaborative project, the GFCE and AU aim to achieve the following outcomes:
- Grow a trusted community of cyber leaders from the different African countries in the form of the Africa Cyber Experts (ACE) Community;
- Identify relevant cyber capacity gaps on a national and sub-regional level in African countries;
- Enable African countries to prioritize, address and communicate their national cyber capacity needs;
- Foster coordination and increasing international collaboration between (existing) cyber capacity building efforts in Africa.
The project currently involves over 30 AU Member countries that have either nominated an ACE representative, or have communicated their needs to the project staff. The African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Union Development Agency – New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD) are co-leading the project.
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Added value of the project
The project will utilize and build on existing cyber structures, plans, expertise and capacities within the AU, and within the multi-stakeholder and international GFCE Community. The AU-GFCE Collaboration project is beneficial for both the African countries and the GFCE Community.
|Published report of current cyber capacities as well as capacity gaps in the African region based on desk research and engagement with the African countries, AUC and the African Union Cyber Security Expert Group (AUCSEG)|
|Formed the ACE Community, made up of technical and policy cyber security representatives of over 30 African Union Member countries.|
|Established the CCB Coordination Committee, made up of nearly thirty institutions from the African Regional Economic Communities, the private sector and civil society, it seeks to provide oversight and feedback on key CCB projects, while also ensuring a great coordination and effective use of resources across the continent|
|Produced nine Knowledge Modules on key CCB topics with an African regional focus developed in collaboration with the GFCE Working Groups, with a special focus on reducing the gender gap in cybersecurity leadership.|
|Organized two in-person meetings to present deliverables, discuss CCB needs and stimulate formal and informal knowledge sharing opportunities during in-person and/or online meetings. The first meeting took place in November 2021 in the Hague, the Netherlands, and in March 2022 in Accra, Ghana, with the final sustainment meeting set to take place in the Republic of the Congo in July 2022.|
|Enhanced cooperation and knowledge sharing on CCB activities between donors recipients and implementers, in particular during the July 2022 meeting in the Republic of the Congo|
|Integrating the African CCB community into the GFCE network of members and partners|
|Collected concrete requests for national cyber capacity support for future projects and support through the GFCE Clearing House mechanism|
|Allowing for a better understanding of African regional and national cyber capacity building needs, in particular among donors and implementers|
|Provides the opportunity for the Community to demonstrate knowledge and expertise through involvement in knowledge modules and meetings|
Phase 1: Nov 20 – Apr 21
Phase 2: May – Oct 21
Phase 3: Nov 21 – Apr 22
Phase 4: May – Oct 22
The GFCE Community, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) from African countries, and relevant stakeholders in Africa will collaborate on identifying CCB needs for African countries, CCB initiatives in the region, and participants for the training program. In the end, the project proposal will be presented to the GFCE Community and AU leadership/Organs.
The ACE Community to promote trust-building, initiatives and disseminate CCB best practices to increase the cyber resilience in Africa.
Online training modules on key CCB topics with an African regional focus will be developed in collaboration with GFCE Working Groups. The Knowledge Modules will equip their users with the necessary knowledge and skills to better secure local, political, and economic buy-in for prioritizing CCB projects and resources in their countries.
The CCB Coordination Committee will be established to further enhance coordination of CCB efforts in Africa.
In-person meetings will be conducted with participants from the ACE Community. The value of the program and introduction of interactive sessions on key topics will be discussed. This will help forge deeper relationships amongst participants and – in turn – strengthen the anticipated network founded on peer support and learning.
The online knowledge modules will be developed and rolled out in both English and French throughout this phase, and the comments from both the ACE and GFCE communities will be collected to further improve the quality and relevance of the modules.
Following the Learning Phase, the project foresees the organization of a number of CCB Enhancement sessions around the Knowledge Module topics. These virtual sessions are intended to further solicit feedback and discuss how identified needs can be addressed.
A second in-person meeting will be organized for selected experts. A follow-up on the topics covered by the knowledge program will be made and participants will be encouraged to share their lessons learnt from the training and challenges faced. This will allow them to connect with other participants and actors in their own countries. The GFCE will run its Clearing House Function which will match participants that request assistance on cyber capacity building topics with actors that can provide key capacity building services.