The University of Cape Town’s Cybersecurity Capacity Centre for Southern Africa joins as strategic partner for virtual competition

WASHINGTON, DC; CAPE TOWN – October 4, 2021 – The Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative, part of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, has partnered with the University of Cape Town (UCT)’s Cybersecurity Capacity Centre for Southern Africa (C3SA) to host the first edition of the Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge developed specifically for university students in South Africa. The Strategy Challenge will take place on October 12-13, 2021, and will be fully virtual. ISACA, the international IT governance professional association, has committed to serve as the anchor sponsor for this inaugural event.

The Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge aims to identify and foster the next generation of leaders to face the cybersecurity challenges of the future. Founded in Washington, DC in 2012, the Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge provides university students from varied academic disciplines with a deeper understanding of cyber strategy and policy challenges. Since 2012, the competition has expanded to eight different sites around the globe with South Africa as its most recent location.  In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the competition has been fully virtual, reaching more students than ever before and facilitating more connections between students and prospective employers across states, countries, and continents.

“The Atlantic Council is delighted to expand the Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge to the African continent,” said Atlantic Council President and CEO Frederick Kempe. “This is a tremendous achievement for the Cyber 9/12 competition program, the Cyber Statecraft Initiative, and the Atlantic Council as a whole. We’re honored to partner with the University of Cape Town and C3SA to support cyber capacity building efforts and the development of next generation cyber talent in South Africa.”

“The aim of the challenge, to identify and foster the next generation of leaders in cybersecurity, aligns well with our goals for ICT-enabled development in Africa,” noted Professor Irwin Brown, Head of Department of Information Systems at UCT.

“We are delighted join forces with the Atlantic Council to support the next generation of cyber policy experts in South Africa. It’s an exciting opportunity for students enrolled in South African universities to engage with cybersecurity experts,” added Dr. Enrico Calandro, Co-Director of C3SA and Research Associate at Research ICT Africa. 

“As a capacity building programme at C3SA, we are working across several fronts to build specialized skills and knowledge on cybersecurity from both a technical and policy perspective,” stated Professor Wallace Chigona, Co-Director at C3SA and Professor of Information Systems at the UCT. 

To train and develop the next generation of cybersecurity leaders, Cyber 9/12 competitors will assume the role of advisors to the South African government navigating a significant cyber incident impacting the region. Student competitors will gain invaluable and realistic learning experience on the technical, policy and strategy aspects of cybersecurity and connect with senior cybersecurity leaders. Africa is slated to be the home of a quarter of the global workforce by 2040, highlighting the need for the development of local and multidisciplinary cyber talent.

For further questions, please contact and Follow the conversation online using #Cyber912.