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National School for Cybersecurity Opens in Senegal

The French minister for Europe and foreign affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, has taken a step toward fighting cybercrime in Senegal with the opening of a new cybersecurity school, according to France Diplomatie.

The school, set to begin training students in 2019, will serve as a best-practice hub in Africa. Reportedly the first of its kind in all of Africa, the National School of Cybersecurity is located in Dakar, where it is temporarily housed in Senegal’s National School of Public Administration. To provide security professionals of African states with enhanced capabilities to fight cybercrime and improve cooperation on security and defense between France and Africa, the school will train cybersecurity experts who currently hold high-level positions in the industry.

Offering primarily short trainings that will run over the course of days or weeks, the program will focus on legal and governance issues as well as information systems security and threat intelligence strategies. Specific to fighting cybercrime, the school has two tracks for diplomas in specialized digital investigations and digital tracing techniques.

The school is targeting executives and managers who already play an important role in digital security, and the trainings are designed to expose them to new skills. The academy also hopes to be able to expand the training programs to reach universities and civil society.

Alongside Senegal’s foreign minister, Sidiki Kaba, Le Drian participated in a ceremony celebrating the start of the school, which will play a significant role in helping other West African countries combat cybercrime for security services, judiciary and private enterprise, French officials told Phys.org.

The announcement coincided with the Dakar International Forum for Peace and Security, which took place on November 5 at the Centre International de Conference Abdou Dio, where Senegalese President Macky Sall said that African countries need to strengthen cybersecurity in the face of evolving threats, according to The Guardian.

“We’re all exposed, nobody is secure and each country is potentially under threat of terrorism,” President Sall reportedly said. “We’re ticklish when we talk of freedom online but the risks online are real. Cybercrime can become a weapon of mass destruction of communities and their values.”

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