IGF 2021 WS #255
National Programmes for Cybersecurity Awareness and Mindset

Organizer 1: Nthabiseng Pule, Cybersecurity Capacity Centre for Southern Africa
Organizer 2: Elizabeth Orembo, Kenya ICT Action Network
Organizer 3: Tenani Chimboza, University of Cape Town

Speaker 1: Laban Bagui, Technical Community, African Group
Speaker 2: Mamothokoane Tlali, Technical Community, African Group
Speaker 3: Enrico Calandro, Civil Society, African Group


Tenani Chimboza, Technical Community, African Group

Online Moderator

Elizabeth Orembo, Civil Society, African Group


Nthabiseng Pule, Technical Community, African Group


Round Table - U-shape - 60 Min

Policy Question(s)

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?
Ensuring a safe digital space: How should governments, Internet businesses and other stakeholders protect citizens, including vulnerable citizens, against online exploitation and abuse?

Since March 2020 when countries began putting in policies restricting the movement of people to contain the spread of Covid-19, there has been an unprecedented increase in cybercrime globally. All over the world, people resorted to the digital space in order to continue working, schooling, and to access a myriad of services. However, this was a new way of doing things and most people did not have the cybersecurity awareness and mindset to be safe while conducting their affairs online. The result has been the global growth in cybercrime. Popular social media websites, including Facebook™ and WhatsApp™, as well as private and public e-mail platforms are used to data-mine victims and their relatives; contact, lure, recruit, coerce and control victims; advertise and sell illegal products and services; launder the proceeds of crime, and exchange best criminal practices. Furthermore, the number of ransom attacks and the quantum of ransoms paid, and lives disrupted point to an unravelling global problem. One of the main factors nurturing a permissive environment for cybercrime to grow is the lack of awareness of threats and risks in cyberspace.

The workshop is meant to highlight the importance national programmes for raising awareness about cybersecurity and building societies with a cybersecurity mindset. The workshop will also highlight good practices for designing effective national cybersecurity awareness programmes.


9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Targets: The session is a capacity building session on how to develop effective cybersecurity awareness programmes. Cybersecurity is a critical condition for the next digital frontier.
SDG 9 will not be realised unless citizens of the world have a high-level of cybersecurity mindset so that they can safely use new innovations and infrastructure that industry produces.
SDG 11 Digital technology drives smart cities; it is important for citizens and policymakers to be aware of the inherent cybersecurity risks in the technologies that underpin smart cities and to have the capacity to implement programmes for building awareness;
SDG 16: Strong institutions are digitised for efficiency and their decisions are evidence based and data driven. Cybersecurity awareness programmes are a critical component in building strong institutions because the inability to implement safe practices in the institutions leave institutions vulnerable to cyber attacks that may cripple an institution for a long time.


The session will be a panel discussion about the importance of national cybersecurity awareness programmes and the best practices for developing and sustaining such programmes. It will highlight the building blocks for successful programmes with cases studies from developing and developed countries. The workshop will have the Cybersecurity Capacity Maturity Model for Nations (CMM) 2021 Edition and ongoing research work by the Cybersecurity Capacity Centre for Southern Africa as a backdrop for the discussions.

Expected Outcomes

An output of the session will be a report that includes insights and new areas that may be explored in the future.

The session will be open to on-site participants and be available online using the IGF’s Online Participation Platform. We will use the chairing of the session to bring in questions from the online participants. We will also use live polling to bring the online and on-site participants closer together.

Online Participation

Usage of IGF Official Tool.