Firm targets to train 1000 entrepreneurs and students on AI

Participants during AI and cyber security seminar at the University of Nairobi, Chiromo Campus. [Rodgers Eshitemi,Standard]

Africa Cyber Security and the AI Foundation (ACAIF) is targeting to train 1,000 entrepreneurs across Africa, including 200 from Kenya, in the cyber challenge as they aim to increase the uptake of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in small, medium, and large business enterprises.

 This was revealed by ACAIF chairperson Evalyn Oloo during the Acyberschool Advanced Cybersecurity Fellowship (AACF) and Cybersecurity and AI Acceleration Program (CAAP) seminar at the University of Nairobi’s Chiromo Campus on Wednesday.

 According to Oloo, who is also the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Acyberschool, the initiative is a game-changer for both entrepreneurs and students.

 As part of the programme, students pursuing cybersecurity and AI will get a one-year fellowship grant to enhance their skills and create more jobs in the sector.

 “As a foundation, what we are doing across the continent is capacity building and connecting that capacity to meaningful engagements. We have training in terms of scaling individuals who are able to support institutions to better their cybersecurity posture. We are also equipping individuals with skills to protect themselves while transacting, engaging online, or taking advantage of the digital economy that is currently growing in Africa. So the challenge is what we have launched today,” Oloo said.

 Oloo says ACAIF has significantly enhanced cybersecurity and AI capabilities across Africa. Additionally, it has bridged the gap between academic knowledge and real-world cybersecurity challenges, providing hands-on experience and practical skills to final-year students and recent graduates.

 While the Cybersecurity and AI Innovation Challenge Africa (CAICA) supports and showcases promising innovations from across the continent, Oloo says their collaboration with ACAIF has seen them advance cybersecurity and AI in Africa, thus playing a critical role in building a resilient digital economy.

 “So through Africa’s Cybersecurity and AI Foundation, a Cyberschool has launched two projects. One geared to increase entrepreneurship in cybersecurity and AI, and another geared to increase what we like to call skin in the game or a badge of, hey, I have done this at work, and I’ve just not done it in theory, so I’m actually good to go,” she said.

 “So the first one, SICA, or the Cybersecurity and AI Challenge, is for innovators, entrepreneurs, and researchers working on novel ideas in cybersecurity or AI. So it doesn’t have to be AI; it can be AI in agriculture or anything else that is solving a problem for Kenya, for East Africa, for Africa, or even for the world at large.”

 On his part, Liquid Intelligent Technologies’ Chief Technology and Innovation officer Ben Roberts urged institutions to start embracing AI.

 “As we speak about AI in companies and businesses, it should be embraced; however, it may lead to both job creation and job losses, but over a long period, it’s the way to go,” said Roberts.