Center for Governance and Leadership (CEGOL) has stressed the need for a secure digital space for girls and children in order to address threats and harm which are rampant in the cyber space. Speaking on Friday during the commemoration of the Cybersecurity Awareness Month at Golden Peacock Hotel in Blantyre, the organization’s Board Member, Christian Chikalimba, said children and girls need to be equipped with skills that would protect them from all forms of digital crimes.

Said Chikalimba, “children and girls suffer cyber-bullying, misinformation and cyber-flashing among other crimes.” She then applauded then applauded the Government of Malawi through the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) for developing the National Child Online Protection Strategy (2023-2028) which she says will go a long way in safeguarding the safety of children in the cyber space.

Speaking during the function, Director of Education, Youth and Sports at Blantyre City Council, Anita Kaliu hailed CEGOL and its partners for organizing the commemoration saying the event was an eye opener on issues of cyber security as majority of the netizens are not aware of how they can protect themselves from various cyber harms. Kaliu added that the rising numbers of victims from cyber crimes is an indication that a significant proportion of internet users lack necessary skills to protect themselves from such vices.

Other speakers during the commemoration included representatives from ICT Association of Malawi, Blantyre Water Board and others. The event which drew a cross section of participants including students, digital activists and stakeholders in the gender and ICT sectors was commemorated under the theme “secure our world”. The commemoration was aimed at empowering netizens to protect their personal data from all digital forms of crimes.

During the event, the second edition of Her for Tech Magazine was also unveiled. The Magazine profiles successful women in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as away of motivating more girls to pursue STEM fields.

Thomson and Barbara Mpinganjira Foundation, Blantyre Water Board(BWB), ICT Association of Malawi (ICTAM), Sparc Systems Limited, Her for Tech, Center for Governance and Leadership (CEGOL) as well as Timveni were amongst the key partners in organizing the event.

2023 marks 20 years of Cyber security Awareness Month and this year’s theme is “Secure our World”.