Best Cybersecurity Conferences in Africa 2018 – 2019

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#1 The Africahackon Conference
The Africahackon Conference

Background to this event
This event takes place in Nairobi, Kenya, each year. If Africahackon taking place in another city then please share this info by dropping a comment below.

Africahackon is a one day ‘hacking’ conference and topics are a mix of defensive and offensive cyber security topics. We liked Africahackon because of its’ varied talks which certainly makes it a worthwhile event to attend if you living and working in East Africa. Kenya. among all African nations, is facing arguably the fastest rise of cyber crime, mostly in part due to the boom in the Kenyan tech sector and fast fibre-optic infrastructure. This all makes this particular Cyber Conference in Africa all the more interesting.

The organizers of this event are able to to attract some of the most talented security experts in the region and you’ll have a chance to see and hear their views about the state of IT Security through presentations, open discussions with the attendants and hands-on demonstrations. The focus is addressing cyber challenges in East Africa, so, if you are a keen infosec specialist located in the region then you can’t go too wrong with attending this event!

The organizers are keen to express the fact that they want to help new individuals start a career in cyber security, especially poignant since the demand for cyber professionals (like elsewhere in the world) is expected to soar in Africa.

We Interviewed the Founder: Dr. Bright Gameli Mawudor, PhD

How did AfricaHackon start? Did you always have the idea of launching a Cybersecurity Conference in Africa?

The idea around AfricaHackon started on 30th September, 2013 via a WhatsApp group with my co-founder Lewis Ng’ang’a. I was in South Korea at the time on studies but still saw it as an initiative that will grow. Our dream was to attend conferences like DEF CON & BlackHat but the funds to travel for those was never there.

However, knowing there is a lot of talent in Kenya and not being explored drew us to come up with the Africahackon Conference. We brought together like minds in the industry and executed the first conference on February 18th, 2014 which was a great success. This is now our 4th Conference and it is getting better as we always take the presentations a notch higher.

What makes AfricaHackon different?

Fact about Cyber Security conferences in East and Central Africa is that, they are always PowerPoint only presentation that people who are not tech savvy get lost in thoughts. We took a different approach inspired by DEF CON and BlackHat by doing LIVE demonstration and explaining the best way possible to a layman. With that understanding, a normal user will be able to secure themselves in their day to day activities working in the Cyber Space.

How do you select the talks that are given at AfricaHackon?

We issue out a CFP (Call for Papers) on our website,, to our mailing list and via social media platforms. All papers collected are vetted by a team in Africahackon and the best are invited to defend weeks prior to the conference. A few revamps might have to be done and finally allowed to present at the conferences itself.

How would you like to see AfricaHackon evolve over time?

We want to first of all take it to another country next year making it international. Countries we are looking at are Ghana, Uganda or Tanzania as we have Africahackon members there currently. Ghana is looking promising at the moment. Future of this is to breed the best Cyber Security engineers in Africa who will be able to defend organizations and keep the countries cyber space safe. So far, Africahackon team organized 2 Full Day Free bootcamps at 12 Universities across Kenya. We will also be launching an initiative known as “AfricaHackonSecOPs” which will be a monthly free event to discuss and tackle latest Cyber Security issues in the country. This will create a pool of experts that organizations can easily pick from should they need assistance and also create employment for the growing tech community.

How do you see Cybersecurity evolving in Africa? What does Africa lack when it comes to Cybersecurity?

Cyber Security in Africa is growing fast as we getting to appear on the surface of the Cyber Threat Map every now and then.

The main feature lacking in Africa is awareness and people as well as organization coming to terms with that we are getting vulnerable by the day. Until one takes Cyber Security awareness serious, we will not be able upgrade to the next level. There is a great potential around the space to say as more and more Cyber Security companies are coming into the space but bottom line: Awareness is Key.

#2 CyberCon Africa
CyberCon Africa

Background to this event
This event lasts for two days and, according to the organizers, is “all about bringing like-minded people to deal with the issues of cyber vulnerability and protection of all sectors from cybercrimes”.

Generally, this conference is attended by many regional and international experts in the cyber field; particularly from the South African IT pool. Many of the talks presented last year were related to sourcing cyber threat intelligence and what to do if web applications and assets (such as servers or databases) are under attack.

We like CyberCon Africa because of its’ practical approach; i.e. it is very ‘hands-on’.

Key to this event (which was the case last year) is the concept of prevention from Cyber Attacks. So, if you work in cyber security and work in Cape Town, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal or Johannesburg then get yourself to Pretoria for this ‘must-attend’ South Africa Cyber Conference.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that CyberCon Africa also contributes to voting for the Community Task Force: an organization which concerns itself with discovering better ways to tackle cyber problems and threats, (there’s an excellent paper on the Cyber Security African Community Task Force here if you’re interested).

#3 International Information Security South Africa Conference
International Information Security South Africa Conference

Background to this event
Further reinforcing the fact that South Africa is leading the way with cyber security in the region, we note that “International Information Security South Africa Conference” also takes place in SA, but this time in Johannesburg. This conference takes place each year around August (again, if our dates are a bit out of sync then let us know in the comments below and we’ll make the necessary changes. Our appreciation of this events is that it does facilitate a platform for the IT Security industry in which students, workers and experts, are all able to showcase and learn new trends in the cyber security space locally, so again, this is yet another great event to attend if you work in cyber – not least in South Africa.

A feature we like about this event is that cyber experts conduct workshops sharing their research and thoughts regarding, for instance, APT’s and importantly, the speakers also discuss possible solutions and remediation strategies. If you’ve attended this event we’d love to hear from you – please go ahead and drop us an email or a comment below.

#4 Africa Internet Summit
Africa Internet Summit

Background to this event
The Africa Internet Summit (AIS) is an annual, regional, multi-stakeholder ICT conference. It is the pinnacle educational and business ICT event in Africa where key players in the Internet industry can interact with the global Internet community. Launched in The Gambia in 2012, the Summit consists of seminars, workshops, tutorials, conference sessions, birds-of-a-feather (BOFs), and other forums for sharing ICT knowledge within the African region.

The Summit aims to bring the ICT business and technical community in Africa together under one roof to discuss ICT issues and challenges.

The African Internet community, drawn from academia, public and private sectors, technical organisations, governmental institutions and civil society, interact on Internet issues and Internet development in general. Our audience benefits from various panels of international experts who deliver insightful knowledge on ICT technologies.

The range of topics spans mobile networking, applications, cybersecurity, cyber laws, Internet governance, ICT for development, research, civil and information society issues, and African ICT success stories.

This is an open platform for everyone. Join your peers as well as business and technical leaders for the Africa Internet Summit – the place for sharing knowledge and networking within the Africa ICT community.

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