IGF 2021 Open Forum #64: Global Forum on Cyber Expertise - GFCE Africa Program

Friday, 10th December, 2021 (14:15 UTC) - Friday, 10th December, 2021 (15:15 UTC)
Conference Room 7

Cybersecurity practices and mechanisms: What are the good cybersecurity practices and international mechanisms that already exist? Where do those mechanisms fall short and what can be done to strengthen the security and to reinforce the trust?

Panel - Auditorium - 60 Min


The Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE) is a multi-stakeholder platform that aims to strengthen cyber capacity and expertise globally through promoting international collaboration, increasing awareness and reducing duplication of cyber capacity building efforts. As the main coordinating platform for cyber capacity building, the GFCE connects needs, resources and expertise whilst making practical knowledge available to the global community.

In partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC), the GFCE is undertaking a two-year project aimed at developing cyber capacity building knowledge across the continent of Africa. The project aims inter alia to help identify relevant cyber capacity gaps on a national and sub-regional level, thereby enabling African countries to prioritize, communicate and address their national cyber capacity needs whilst fostering coordination and increasing international collaboration with and between cyber capacity building efforts in Africa.

A key element of this project is the packaging of expertise, experience, knowledge and relevant content into modules that can be leveraged by participating countries to address capacity needs. During this Open Forum the GFCE along with its international partners will present these efforts, discussing progress and future outlook. The content- and assessments-related knowledge modules developed in the course of the AUC Collaboration project will be made accessible online.


Manon van Tienhoven, Program Coordinator, GFCE

Elliot Mayhew, Advisor, GFCE


Moctar Yedaly, GFCE Africa Program Director (Moderator)

Nnenna Ifeanyi-Ajufo, Vice-Chairperson AU Cyber Security Experts Group 

Martin Koyabe, Senior Manager AU-GFCE Project

Katarina Anđelković, Head of Knowledge Ecology, DiploFoundation

Onsite Moderator


Online Moderator

Manon van Tienhoven, GFCE


Elliot Mayhew, GFCE


17. Partnerships for the Goals

Targets: Global coordination is important to amplify capacity building efforts and ensure greater effectiveness and efficiency. The GFCE’s efforts to build regional nodes and further increase its regional focus in 2021 go some way to realizing global coordination, as this highlights regional perspectives and priorities for capacity building including but not limited to increasing trust and cooperation amongst relevant stakeholders. The key aims of the project in bringing together stakeholders to prioritize capacity needs and identify pathways to addressing these challenges also goes directly to the focus of SDG 17 and complements calls for greater inter-regional exchanges in capacity-building, especially where priorities align more closely and naturally among developing economies

Key Takeaways (* deadline 2 hours after session)

Commonalities do not translate into automatically transferable capacity building. It is important to develop metrics for countries to understand where they are, where they are going and where the gaps are in their cyber capacity development. For digital cooperation to thrive, digital equality should be the basis of capacity building with equal standards as the core of initiatives that develop infrastructure and enable technology transfer.

The understanding that cybersecurity is thoroughly a national security agenda is derailing Africa in ensuring a multistakeholder approach to cyber. Going beyond state actors in outreach and doing more to increasing awareness and understanding of the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders will help in defining an African approach to multistakeholder cooperation.

Call to Action (* deadline 2 hours after session)

Donors and those designing and implementing capacity building programs or initiatives should consider the longevity of their efforts. These should be linked to agreed frameworks, take account of existing efforts and plan for the long-term.

States should be encouraged to develop approaches towards building lasting relationships with all relevant stakeholder groups, in particular civil society. A starting point could involve consultations at the national and regional levels when conducting and implementing national cybersecurity reviews.