September 1, 2022
May 31 to June 2, 2022, the U.S. Army Africa Command (AFRICOM) and the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) hosted a symposium on communication systems implementation and cybersecurity in Gaborone. The participants were junior enlisted soldiers from Botswana and partner African countries. In this hybrid event, enlisted soldiers from partner nations Kenya, Liberia, Senegal, and Tanzania participated in person, while those from Djibouti, Ghana, Morocco, and Tunisia attended virtually.
The focus of the symposium was to discuss the cybersecurity postures and capacities of each participating nation as well as regional capabilities. The symposium also explored ways to increase Women, Peace, Security (WPS) initiatives. The event also provided a platform for AFRICOM to identify rising leaders from partner nations. The keynote speaker, Ms. Gina Costante from the U.S. Defence Security Cooperation Agency, underscored the importance of “Diversity and Inclusion” and “Inclusive Leadership Development.” Ms. Costante encouraged partner governments to adopt policies to increase the participation of women. She underscored her message by highlighting the accomplishments and advancements of African servicewomen in the communications field.
The symposium utilized breakout sessions to delve deeper into topics. The Defense Attaché’s Sergeant First Class Jonathan Gichero of U.S. Embassy Gaborone led a particularly insightful session on how male and female soldiers collaborate effectively on matters of peace and security. This important symposium was a key element to advance the Botswana-U.S. partnership and was illustrative of the types of commitments made between strong and accountable militaries.
For additional information, please contact the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Office at 373-2415 or PASGaborone@state.gov.