USAID Inspires Georgia’s Future Generation to Protect Critical Infrastructure

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Georgia’s young people are key to a prosperous and secure future fully integrated into a modern Europe. USAID partnerships are equipping young people with the skills to protect Georgia’s critical infrastructure, such as its electricity supply, from threats and to be competitive for high-paying jobs.

On June 25, USAID organized a Cybersecurity Youth Hackathon to facilitate internships and jobs for recent graduates in the nation’s energy sector and other sectors critical to Georgia’s security and economic growth. The hackathon provided opportunities for youth and women to build their professional skills in cybersecurity by testing and enhancing participants’ cyber skills. The real-world simulation engaged the skills that young people will use as future professionals to address the increased risk of cyber threats to Georgia’s energy sector.

“USAID is working with Georgia’s government and businesses to invest in and build modern, reliable, renewable energy infrastructure—but those assets will need protection from cyber threats,” said Mikael Baker, USAID’s Senior Digital Development and Cybersecurity Advisor. “Just as USAID partnerships are building a modern, domestic renewable energy supply, our partnerships are also building a domestic workforce that can protect that infrastructure. Building this capacity also has the benefit of preparing Georgia’s talented young people for exciting, high-demand, and high-paying careers.”

The global digital transformation increasingly impacts daily economic activity. USAID activities that create knowledge of digital technology, particularly among youth, are central to ensuring that Georgia’s continued economic growth benefits Georgia’s population broadly.

At the conclusion of the Hackathon, USAID held an Awards Ceremony, where the top three Hackathon participants received special recognition and an award of USAID funding to participate in an internationally certified training course on cybersecurity fundamentals offered by ISACA, an independent, nonprofit, global association that engages in the development, adoption, and use of globally accepted information security and technology knowledge and practices.