Cyber in Africa, in collaboration with Women in Security & Resilience Alliance (WISECRA) has announced the 2020 accolade for the Top 50 women in Cybersecurity Africa. The accolade, the first in its kind, seeks to recognize women in cybersecurity in Africa who are making significant contributions to the industry and profession in the continent.
The accolade also seeks to shed light on women role models, giving more attention to the women in cybersecurity agenda at the continental level, fostering women’s voices and influence in cybersecurity in Africa. By doing this, it hopes to boost women’s profile for career and professional growth; and starting a culture of awards and accolades in cybersecurity in Africa.
This inaugural accolade attracted 300 submissions from more than 10 African countries, with finalists representing South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Tunisia. Industries such as telecommunications, financial services, government, academia were also represented. These experienced and seasoned professionals have made great strides in domains such as cyberpsychology, policy and law, advocacy, technical, consulting, management and more.
The judging panel included seven women; also experienced in their fields, some awards holders, and others with extensive experience as awards judges or awards curators. They included:
- Christi Maherry – CEO, LAWTrust, South Africa
- Jane Frankland – Owner and CEO, Cyber Security Capital Limited, UK
- Alice Namuli Blazevic – Partner and Head, Innovation and Technology, KATS Law, Uganda
- Abeer Khedr – Director of Information Security, National Bank of Egypt, Egypt
- Bonnie Butlin – Co-Founder & Executive Director, Security Partners’ Forum & Expert Network Member (Cybersecurity) at World Economic Forum, Canada
- Esther Lugoe Mengi – Founder, Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics Expert, Serensic Ltd, Tanzania
- Sherifat Akinwonmi – Information Technology Manager, GSK, Nigeria
It was observed that Africa has an increasing number of women in cybersecurity leadership and are able to influence positions, and others doing remarkable work in the industry. However, they are not effectively using their voices and influence to support the women in the cybersecurity agenda in Africa.
Cyber In Africa and its partners have urged these amazing women to be proactive, raise their voice, get involved and make contributions at their levels, in any way they can to support the cause and the industry at large.
Please find the finalists here.