UNODC holds first digital forensics competition to raise cyber security awareness 


DAKAR.  Throughout the month of May, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)’s Global Program on Cybercrime in Africa held an Africa-wide Digital Forensics competition. 

Some 282 participants from 29 African countries took part and the competition was open to any cyber professionals in Africa. It was the first competition of its kind hosted by UNODC in Africa.  20% of registered participants were women. 

“The UNODC Global Program on Cybercrime launched this Africa-wide competition to raise knowledge and build capacity on the continent on digital forensics, but also to highlight the vast expertise in this field that exists and continues to grow here,” said Carmen Corbin, head of Africa cyber security programme at UNODC.

During the competition, where a set of different challenges were released each week for four weeks in May, more than 12,600 answers were submitted. 

The winners came from the Benin Computer Security Incident Response Team. The team got the most points from completing each challenge in the quickest time. 

According to Dr. Amado de Andrés, Regional Representative for West and Central Africa at UNODC, “Africans are using technology every day in every way, so it is critical that we continue to build knowledge and international collaboration to help increase online safety and cybersecurity on the continent."

The competition, said Ms. Corbin, “saw participants from all over Africa supporting each other and encouraging colleagues they just met through the competition. We have seen this encouragement and connections continue past the completion of the event."

In addition, training videos were also released to assist participants that were struggling with certain challenges or who just wanted to learn more on the topics. In total, 12 training videos were created and viewed 1231 times.