18th October 2023
Mauritania takes first place.
The ECOWAS Commission, through the European Union-funded OCWAR-C project, in collaboration with ANCy Togo and Cyber Defense Africa (CDA), held the closing ceremony of the ECOWAS HACKATHON 2023 challenge final on Wednesday 18 October 2023 in Lomé, under the theme “ECOWAS Youth Engaged Against Cyber Threats”.
This regional final, which brought together eleven (11) ECOWAS Member States and Mauritania, was won by the Mauritanian team after 48 hours of non-stop competition. Benin and Nigeria came second and third respectively. The top three teams and the best female participant of the competition received monetary gifts and certifications to pursue their passion in the field of cybersecurity.
According to Sédiko Douaka, Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy and Digitalisation at the ECOWAS Commission, the hackathon “demonstrated the spirit of collaboration, innovation and the relentless pursuit of knowledge that should drive the cybersecurity community.”
He said he was impressed by the exceptional talent of these young people and promised that “as long as ECOWAS exists, this competition will continue to be organised”. Ethical hacking and responsible practices are an opportunity to curb cybercriminals, the ECOWAS Commissioner pointed out. Welcoming the commitment of these young people, he invited them to continue honing their skills.
Of the forty or so young people present in Lomé, only five were young women. To promote women’s skills in cybersecurity, ECOWAS awarded a prize to the best woman in the challenge. Sierra Leone’s Elizabeth Sheriff stood out for her skills and won the women’s challenge.