Skip to content
European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies

Building cyber capacity with the Global South for a secure digital future

As global reliance on digital networks grows, so do cyber threats. Strengthening cyber capacities globally is crucial, fostering collaboration beyond the Global North. The 'Building Cyber Capacity with the Global South' conference identified agenda priorities and challenges, while charting the path ahead.

12 December 2023 | Event

Cyber South conference

The intensification of global technological interdependence has increased societies' reliance on digital networks, presenting both opportunities and heightened vulnerability to cyber threats. Protecting internet connectivity as a whole is crucial. This necessitates enhanced cyber capabilities on a global scale, aiming for cohesive, inclusive, and strategic international cooperation to strengthen the security and safety of cyberspace both within and across national borders. This is particularly urgent in the Global South, where the swift expansion of internet access requires resilience measures. The challenge of Building Cyber Capacities is now a global priority at the centre of foreign policy, fostering international cooperation beyond the Global North. Initiatives support actors in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean, aiding the development of comprehensive cybersecurity strategies to govern and protect digital assets while actively contributing to global cyber peace, stability and security.

These topics were central to the ‘Building Cyber Capacity with the Global South’ Conference hosted by Andrea Calderaro at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies on 23-24 October this year. This event marked the culmination of the Cyber4Dev Project, through which the European Commission has supported partner countries in the Global South in bolstering their cyber capacity from 2017 to 2023. The conference gathered 50 experts from over 20 countries, members from EU institutions and implementing partners. 

The conference served as a unique platform to address the multifaceted nature of cyber capacity building and to reflect on the EU's role in this global endeavour. It highlighted the importance of developing cyber capacities as a catalyst for digital transformation in the Global South and for sustaining a resilient transnational cybersecurity governance framework, while also facilitating the exchange of best practices. The discussions emphasised the need for a more holistic approach to capacity building that includes civil society and public-private partnerships.

Andrea Calderaro stressed the role of research and academic institutions in helping nations and stakeholders establish robust cyber resilience and called for more initiatives to support the development of academic cyber capabilities. The conference also provided a chance to consider the human security aspects of cybersecurity, focusing on the protection of human rights. A final public roundtable titled "Transnational governance of cyber capacity building" was held during the conference at the School of Transnational Governance (STG).  This final discussion tackled the crucial role of enhancing cyber capabilities globally to foster a cohesive and inclusive transnational governance approach to cybersecurity. 

By synthesising the diverse insights brought to the discussion, the conference identified emergent priorities for a renewed cyber capacity building agenda. While celebrating achievements, the conference also recognised the evolving nature of cyber capacity building priorities over time and pinpointed the multiple challenges that lie ahead. It charted new paths for the potential next phase of a global cyber capacity building agenda. More than a concluding event, this conference sparked a new, long-term debate on strengthening Cyber Capacity Building on a global scale.

Transnational governance of cyber capacity building - Enhancing cyber capacity in the Global South

Last update: 13 December 2023

Go back to top of the page