On Feb 3, 2023, Mido Cyber Academy’s 2023 cohort celebrated graduation with parents, sponsors, and supporters.
In 2023, The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO), in partnership with KnowBe4 Africa and MiDO Technologies, established the MiDO Cybersecurity Academy, aiming at underserved communities within the Western Cape.
“The FCDO is striving to help solve the problem of cyber skill shortages on the continent through their Africa Cyber Programme (ACP), which aims to improve safe digital access, bring excluded populations into the digital economy, reduce poverty, and stimulate inclusive economic growth in South Africa,” says Victoria White, First Secretary – Political (Cyber) at the British High Commission in South Africa.
Other supporting organizations include Nclose, Infosec Advisory Group, Cybereason, Infosec Institute (Cengage), Stellenbosch University, Rain, The David Legacy, Orange Cyberdefense, Usiko Stellenbosch, and many individual cybersecurity professionals from both South Africa and abroad. KPMG is the assigned project team for the ACP program.
“With a focus on cybersecurity, critical thinking, soft skills, innovation, collaboration, and personal resilience, we aim to bridge the digital and cyber skills divide that exists between job seekers and internships or junior positions available in the IT and cybersecurity market, thereby addressing both the high youth unemployment rate and the skills shortage in emerging technologies,” says Dale Simons, CEO of MiDO Technologies.
The academy provides a 10-month blended learning program for youths aged 18 to 24, offering e-learning, in-person sessions, and mentorship.
Industry involvement and support expose students to real-life challenges faced by security industry professionals and help them build a network of senior members and potential future employers.
“The problem we are faced with is not a ‘talent shortage’ but an ‘experience shortage,’ and we urge South African and international technology teams to consider ways to expose these graduates to real projects and challenges. Cybersecurity is a career of lifelong learning, and their journey has only just started. It’s up to us to provide the opportunities via experiences,” says Anna Collard, SVP of Content Strategy and Evangelist for KnowBe4 Africa.
“I thought of myself as someone with no passion going from job to job. Since enrolling in the academy, it has brought about growth and a sense of purpose, and I’ve grown into a more confident person,” says Thurston Goldstein, Mido graduate.