Microsoft to train 100 students countrywide on cybersecurity

Kenya Bankers Association's Director of Technical Services Fidelis Muia (left), Microsoft ADC Managing Director Catherine Muraga, Serianu CEO William Makatiani, and USIU-Africa Deputy Vice Chancellor Dr Victor Boiyo.

The Microsoft Africa Development Centre (ADC) has partnered with Cyber Shujaa to train 100 students in cybersecurity across Kenya as part of the centre’s goal of improving cyber-security talent pool in the booming Kenyan technology sector.

Cyber Shujaa, a programme established by a consortium of three organizations; Serianu Limited, United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa), and Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), provides a distinctive mix of theoretical and practical training.

The programme employs a hybrid learning approach that combines classroom instruction with one-on-one sessions and weekly mentorship.

The initial three-month programme will enroll 70 undergraduate students and 30 graduate students, all with less than two years of work experience. They will engage in eight cybersecurity modules covering topics such as network security, application security, cloud security, incident response, security architecture, IoT (Internet of Things) security, and forensics.

“Cybersecurity is a cornerstone for secure operations across various industries, yet there’s a significant gap in skilled professionals. This partnership with Cyber Shujaa exemplifies our commitment to establishing Kenya as a hub for cybersecurity talent,” said Catherine Muraga, Managing Director of Microsoft ADC.

The programme prioritizes equipping graduates with industry-recognized skills. Participants can earn two Microsoft cybersecurity certificates, which significantly boost their employability in the cybersecurity job market.

“By collaborating with industry leaders like Microsoft ADC and leveraging the expertise of Serianu, USIU-Africa, and KBA, we are able to offer specialized training that directly addresses the skills gap in the cybersecurity industry,” said Lola Omole-Odubekun, interim Vice Chancellor, USIU-Africa.

Speaking during the launch, Igor Sakhnov, Corporate Vice President, Engineering at Microsoft, said that this partnership is not only timely but is envisioned to bring a much-needed boost to the industry, especially in Africa.

“This timely collaboration with Microsoft will provide a much-needed boost to the cybersecurity industry, particularly across Africa,” said Sakhnov.

“In 2016, we launched the Cyber Immersion Program with just 8 students. By 2021, the Cyber Shujaa partnership was established, and we trained students from 67 universities nationwide in our inaugural cohort. One of our key goals is to increase gainful and high-quality employment among youth who have skills in cybersecurity and data protection,” William Makatiani, CEO of Serianu, stated.

Cyber Shujaa aims to bridge the training, placement, and retention gap for Kenyan youth pursuing IT and cybersecurity careers. It also focusses on increasing the participation of women in the sector by offering women-only training tracks. Cyber Shujaa also works to enhance the quality and work-life balance of existing jobs held by young individuals.

Cyber Shujaa has an impressive track record, having successfully trained over 500 individuals in cybersecurity and data protection through competency-based skills development programmes.

The recent partnership with Microsoft represents a significant stride in meeting the increasing demand for cybersecurity expertise in Kenya and beyond.


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