The 2021 CyberSmart Challenge kicked off recently with the beginning of the Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The month-long competition seeks to promote cybersecurity awareness amongst the youth, by challenging them to research and learn about internet safety.
The Cybersmart Challenge is an initiative by InFuture Foundation and is implemented with support from Cyber4Dev, European Union Mission in Botswana and Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority.
This year the competition is being undertaken as part of a national Cybersecurity Awareness Month campaign led by the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
“We are excited to be embarking on yet another season of the CyberSmart Challenge, a campaign that continues to empower Botswana’s youth to participate in digital spaces safely, responsibly and meaningfully,” pointed out Campaign Coordinator, David Moepeng.
According to Moepeng, as internet usage grows in Botswana, cybersecurity is becoming a necessity by the day.
“Life is increasingly taking place in digital spaces, particularly at a social level. This therefore means, societal security and safety must be promoted at every opportunity,” he stated.
Latest statistics released by Statistics Botswana indicate that internet access continues to grow in the country, with mobile internet leading the growth.
Statistics show that internet subscriptions grew by 6.7 percent in the second quarter of 2021, compared to the same quarter of the previous year.
Mobile internet subscriptions grew by 6.9 percent while fixed internet subscriptions grew by 0.5 percent respectively. “As much as growth in internet access and use presents opportunities for social and economic advancement, and enables Batswana to participate in the global digital economy, it could also mean more Batswana are becoming exposed to cyber dangers,” cautioned Moepeng.
The Cybersmart Challenge targets the youth aged 16 – 25, who are being encouraged to learn about cybersecurity and then create informational videos in which they express their knowledge on internet dangers while also sharing tips on how everyone can stay safe online.
The videos can be in the form of a speech, presentation, animation, poem, song, rap or a drama performance.
The top three entries will then be awarded prizes as follows: 1st Prize – P5, 000 in cash and a laptop, 2nd Prize – P2, 500 and a laptop and 3rd Prize- a laptop. In 2020, the 1st prize went to 20-year-old Selwana Motsemeng, a first year student at AWIL College, 2nd Prize went to Amogelang Tshukudu, 20-year-old third year student in BSC Computing at Botho University while Marang Angela Kgosiyang, a 16-year-old Form 4 student at Rainbow School and Winnie Motsemeng, 21, a year four Student in Psychology at the University of Botswana scooped third prize. The deadline for submission of entries for this year’s competition is October 25, following which winners will be announced at the end of October.