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KFAS Concludes a National Capacity-Building Course in Cybersecurity

The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) concluded last Thursday, an online training course and competition in cybersecurity skills aimed at enhancing and developing the computing skills of youth, especially girls, in Kuwait.

The course’s sessions and the competition started last March with the support of the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science within the framework of celebrating the International Women's Day under the title “Kuwait National Cybersecurity Capture the Flag (CTF)“ in cooperation with a number of agencies specialized in information technology in Kuwait.

Dr. Layla Al-Musawi, program manager for Publicizing and Dissemination of Science and Technology, within the Scientific Culture Directorate at the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences, declared that the Foundation is keen to provide opportunities to build the capacities of young people in the fields related to information technology that has become the economy’s pillar since the start of the fourth industrial revolution.

“The program for the dissemination of scientific and technological knowledge seeks to empower young people in general and women in particular in the fields of science and technology to contribute to the development of human capital and to provide them with opportunities to participate in national development plans, in accordance with the goals of sustainable development.” She added.

Dr. Layla Al-Musawi said that, with the aim of encouraging women's participation in technology development and in line with the Kuwaiti events program for the International Women's Day, one of the conditions of the cybersecurity competition was to include at least one woman in each competing team.

She also explained that the three winning teams were rewarded with financial prizes and with the access to joint workspaces with cybersecurity agencies,. The winners will also represent Kuwait in the Cybersecurity Capture the Flag 2020 activities in the Arab region and Africa that will be held next October.

For her part, Dr. Zainab Al-Meraj, Assistant Professor at Kuwait University and founder of the Google Developers Group and Women’s Technology Makers, said that this course was a unique opportunity for women to explore and develop cybersecurity skills despite the world’s current Covid-19 pandemic.

She noted that the course included workshops on the latest programming languages, web design, mobile phone technologies and cloud computing to develop the participants' skills in solving the technical problems faced by local NGOs.

Amal Al-Khulaifi, one of the event’s co-organizers and founder of Bushra platform that relies on artificial intelligence to provide emotional and legal support for victims of domestic violence, said that the workshop included discussion sessions aimed at supporting emerging technology companies in Kuwait and addressing some issues facing women at the workplace.

The session was co-organized by the Google Developer Group, the Women Techmakers Kuwait City Group (CDG & WTM Kuwait City), the Women in Cyber Security Middle East association (WiCSME), and the Cyber Talents Company.

It is worth noting that since 2017, the Google Developers Group and the Women Techmakers Kuwait City Group have presented more than 50 workshops and organized many major national conferences to enhance the skills of high schools and universities students, engineers, graphic designers, computer scientists, mathematicians, and entrepreneurs.