Closing of the final of the “HACKERlab 2022” competition: Benin takes first place14 Oct, 2022
The ECOWAS Commission, through the OCWAR-C project funded by the European Union, proceeded on Wednesday, October 12, 2022, in Cotonou, Benin, to the closing of the Final of the ECOWAS HACKERLAB 2022 competition. This competition, with the focus theme “ECOWAS Youth Engaged Against Cyber Threats”, was organized in collaboration with the Computer Security Incident Response Team in Benin (bjCSIRT) of the Information Systems Agency (ASIN).
This regional final which brought together eleven (11) ECOWAS Member States and Mauritania saw the Benin team emerge victorious after 48 hours of non-stop competition. The teams from Nigeria and Mauritania came in second and third place respectively. These three teams and the best female participant of the competition received monetary gifts plus cybersecurity training and certifications kits to pursue their passion in the field.
The closing ceremony was marked by three (3) speeches, including that of Mr. Ouanilo MEDEGAN FAGLA, Director of the Digital Security of the Benin Information and Digital Systems Agency, who, after congratulating the presence of women in this competition, encouraged the practice of ‘ethical hackers’, and indicated that the HACKERlab shows that there are local skills in the fight against cyberthreats.
In his speech, Mr. Sédiko DOUKA, the ECOWAS Commissioner in charge of Infrastructure, Energy and Digitalization indicated that: ”The availability of sufficient and qualified human resource in the different areas of cybersecurity is a major concern for ECOWAS. It is with this in mind that the Commission adopted the regional strategy for cybersecurity and cybercrime, with one of the important pillars being how to sustain the development of cybersecurity skills. He also stated the ECOWAS HACKERlab is an indisputable contribution to increasing the cybernetic workforce in our community space’’. He then warmly congratulated the winners and all those who participated in this first edition of ECOWAS HACKERlab.
After having congratulated the participants, the winners and the organizers of this event, Mr. DATONDJI Gaspard, Secretary General, representing the Minister of Minister of Digital Economy and Communications of Benin, indicated in his speech that the participants constitute sub-regional talents and called on them to be leaders in digital security in the West African sub-region.
It is important to specify that the HACKERlab preceded the 2022 ECOWAS Symposium on Cybersecurity which started this Wednesday, October 12, 2022, in Cotonou, Benin.
During this Symposium, actors in the field of cybersecurity from various countries will conduct an in-depth reflection on the actions needed to increase the cyber workforce of ECOWAS. A roadmap and appropriate recommendations will be adopted at the end of the two (2) day symposium.