Cybercrimes are one of the emerging technology-based crimes that have become an issue of concern in Rwanda, just like in other parts of Africa.
A 2020 report by Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) showed that the rate of cybercrimes escalated from January to March 2020 alone.
Rwf25.9 million had been stolen by cybercriminals in 39 cases that RIB investigated.
Earlier figures show that in 2018 alone, the cybercrimes-related loss amounted to Rwf6 billion sourced in at least 113 cases, while in 2017, there were about 80 incidents involving about Rwf2.6 billion from an estimated Rwf1.3 billion in 2016.
To address the concern, Rwanda Internet Community and Technology Alliance (RICTA) officials told KTPress that they plan to focus on cyber security training in 2022 as a matter of concern on skills gaps raised among engineers.
This follows a successful skills capacity building in both Network Monitoring Management and Advanced Routing Techniques under an annual technical training dubbed-Rwanda Network Operators Group (RWNOG) initiated in 2013 to meet the needs of the Rwanda Internet Community.
The earlier training session focused on cutting government expenses in sending IT engineers abroad to improve practical skills, following an earlier gap that was identified showing that most graduate and get employed with little or less practical knowledge to handle network failures or glitches.
For instance, government or private sector companies would incur more than Rwf2million per engineer to attend two weeks training if they were sent to train across the region especially in Kenya, Uganda, or South Africa.
The locally managed training course has seen this costing only Rwf100, 000 per person.
However, with changing tides on the internet, especially cyber security, RICTA CEO, Grace Ingabire said that Rwanda is now focusing on training an army of equipped existing engineers with sustainable technical skills required in the very rapidly changing internet world.
The new focus follows eight years of training of about 500 network engineers and managers from different government and public institutions in modern techniques of detecting network failures remotely and are able to resolve them.
This October 25, Rwanda graduated its fourth group of 60 Rwandan network engineers (RWNOG) with certificates in Network Monitoring Management and Advanced Routing Techniques.
RWNOG is an annual national training that aims at building the capacity of Information Technology engineers in areas of Advanced Routing (AR) and Network Monitoring and Management (NMM), which has seen numbers of trainees increase since 2013.
Grace Ingabire, said that trainees’ demand in addressing the current and future needs of operators in the ICT industry with the required technical skills especially the internet field keeps changing day on day and cyber security skills have been a concern among trainees.
“We are now focusing on popular and emerging ICT Industries challenges such as Cyber Security, Mobile Networking among others and provide required skills as we continue to address a wide range of issues including the current and newest trends,” Ingabire said during the graduation.
“The IT industry exists because technology has grown to become part of nearly everything we do. The ICT industry has got the ever-changing needs including the core IP Engineering as well as integrating the real-world use and impact of IP Technologies.”
This change in ICT and especially Internet and network management in Rwanda has attracted donor organizations like the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) Rwanda and the University of Rwanda to come on board to build local capacity and increase numbers and quality of local skills.
Olaf Seidel, Head of the GIZ Digital Transformation Center told KTPress that his organization will fund more trainees in the program for the next years as a way of improving the internet service sector considering the fact that Rwanda has heavily invested in internet rollout- with 4G internet coverage 96% now.