Volume 9, 2021: Issue 2

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Cybersecurity capacity building of human capital: Nations supporting nations


Michelle M. Ramim, Nova Southeastern University, USA

Angel Hueca, Carnegie Mellon University, USA


Capacity building of human capital can be described as the experience, knowledge, skill sets, and intangible assets that add economic value to individuals and the organizations they work for. With the ever-growing gap in cybersecurity skill sets, it is essential to have a shared understanding of the necessary current skills and what those skills represent in the form of human capital to not only individuals, but also the organizations they work for. As nations around the world are struggling with the increased dependencies on Information Systems (IS) and the massive cybersecurity incidents resulting from adversaries, it is evident that cybersecurity human capital is the key in overcoming such challenges. With that said, while major players fighting cyber adversaries such as the United States (U.S.) and other western nations are struggling with their own significant cybersecurity human capital shortage, less developed nations are even further challenged. For example, African nations continue to acquire and implement ISs, the pace in which these technologies are adopted outnumbers the rate at which the skills to protect these technologies are captured. In this study we introduce the concept of cybersecurity human capital at the national level in the African region, as well as specific steps necessary to develop and embed current cybersecurity skills in cybersecurity human capital. We discuss the challenges faced by Sub-Saharan African nations in the journey to develop their cybersecurity human capital at the national level. An overview of the programs developed by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues is provided across three case studies.


Capacity building, cybersecurity, human capital, cyber-colonization, knowledge transfer, skills building, cybersecurity risk mitigation, Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT).




Research paper


The Online Journal of Applied Knowledge Management (OJAKM), ISSN: 2325-4688


International Institute for Applied Knowledge Management (IIAKM)


20 February 2021


8 May 2021; 18 August 2021; 22 December 2021


26 December 2021

Accepting Editor:

Meir Russ