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African businesses face more cyberattacks due to digital skills shortages – Experts

Experts have expressed concern over the growing shortage of general digital skills caused by the brain drain in Africa.

They said such a development would lead to an increase in cyberattacks and crimes, with catastrophic consequences for businesses, governments and citizens.

A statement said this is part of the consensus reached by panelists at the April edition of the Information Security Society of Africa’s monthly meeting in Nigeria on the theme “Tackling the skills quagmire in cybersecurity”.

Experts said African countries must, as a matter of urgency, begin intentional digital skills development at all levels, support for smart technologies, engagement with the diaspora, and strategic provision of digital skills to Africa.

Founder/CEO of Digital Jewels, Ms. Doyin Odunfa, said the shortage of general digital skills at all levels is expected to become more critical as economies develop.

The supply of skilled digital labor, she added, must also increase to meet anticipated labor market needs.

She observed that highly skilled African professionals had migrated to African countries to seek lucrative cultural and socio-economic opportunities in other continents, leading to brain drain and skills shortage on the continent.

While offering solutions, she recommended the intentional development of digital skills at all levels, support for smart technologies, collaboration with the diaspora, and strategic sourcing of African and Western economies.

She said, “These young Africans are seeking higher paying jobs outside of Africa to escape socio-economic limitations such as poverty, limited infrastructure and rudimentary jobs.

“They look for conducive environments in developed countries that provide rewarding businesses and obtain lucrative jobs, matching the aspirations of skilled individuals and the expected socio-economic reward.”

In his welcoming remarks, ISSAN President, Dr. David Isiavwe said that the brain drain in Africa as well as the shortage of digital skills that the world is currently experiencing are of concern.

He said: “The cyber threat landscape continues to evolve. The cybersecurity space is getting busier every day. We’ve seen how daring cybercriminals can be, targeting both domestic assets and those of highly reputable companies.

“Even individuals are not left out. Therefore, it becomes imperative that organizations never cease to maintain and reinforce best practices in information security.

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