March 12-26, 2024

A competition designed to introduce African students to the world of cybersecurity, held annually each March.

Get ready for picoCTF-Africa 2024

picoCTF-Africa is a free computer security competition for undergraduate and graduate students across the African continent, created by security and privacy experts at Carnegie Mellon University Africa.

This competition is part of picoCTF, the annual computer security competition and learning platform created by CyLab Security and Privacy Institute. Participants of picoCTF-Africa will be ranked on an African-only leaderboard within the annual picoCTF competition.

Over the course of nearly a decade, picoCTF has become the world's largest online hacking competition. The event has also grown to include several geographically-based leaderboards and programming, including Canada, Japan, and Africa.

Explore past picoCTF-Africa winners and partnerships

Awards

Rwanda-only leaderboard

Higher learning

  • 1st place: Rwf 150,000 per team member
  • 2nd place: Rwf 100,000 per team member 
  • Women in Cybersecurity: Rwf. 50,000 per team member 

High school 

  • 1st place: Rwf 150,000 per team member
  • 2nd place: Rwf 100,000 per team member
  • Women in Cybersecurity: Rwf. 50,000 per team member 

Sierra Leone-only leaderboard

  • 1st place team: 10,000 Leones
  • 2nd place team: 5,000 Leones
  • 3rd teal award: 3,000 Leones

Sponsored by: National Cybersecurity Coordination Centre of Sierra Leone

Top three undergraduate teams in Africa

  • Potentially fully-paid trip to Rwanda for award ceremony
  • Fully-paid cybersecurity certification
  • Electronic awards/cash awards
  • picoCTF swag

Top three high school teams in Africa

  • Potentially fully-paid trip to Rwanda for award ceremony
  • Fully-paid cybersecurity certification
  • Electronic awards/cash awards
  • picoCTF swag

Women in Cybersecurity award

  • Potentially fully-paid trip to Rwanda for award ceremony
  • Fully-paid cybersecurity certification
  • Electronic awards/cash awards
  • picoCTF swag

Awards sponsored by Uganda Communications Commission

Secondary schools

  • Winner: $150 USD
  • Runner-up: $100 USD
  • Certificate for winners

University and other tertiary institutions

  • Winner: $150 USD
  • Runner-up: $100 USD
  • Certificate for winners
Students at picoCTF-Africa Awards 2022

Students celebrate at the picoCTF-Africa 2022 awards ceremony

Train for picoCTF-Africa

Upcoming training sessions

  • In-person training at CMU-Africa
    February 7, 14, 28 and March 6
  • In-person training in Sierra Leone
    February 15, 16, 17
  • In-person training in Botswana
    February 22, 23
  • Online training
    Every Saturday February 27-March 1, 10:00-12:00 p.m. and 2:00-4:00 p.m. CAT

View previous training sessions

Affiliations

Addis Ababa Science and Technology University Ethiopia logo
Addis Ababa University Ethiopia logo
Adventist University of Central Africa logo
Epitech logo
Esgis logo
FAWE logo
Gashora Girls Academy logo
IFRI logo
Kagarama Secondary School logo
Rwanda Coding Academy logo
SOS Children's Village logo
Sup Telecom logo
Technical University of Kenya logo
University of Kigali logo

Award and global recognition criteria

  • Participants must be between the age of 13-25 years
  • Students must apply individually and join a team consisting of two to five students
  • Must be an active student in or graduated within the last one year from an accredited high school, college, or university. Students in their first year of study of graduate studies can also join the challenge
  • Teams with both female and male participants are highly encouraged
  • Participants have to be permanent residents and citizens of an African country to be eligible for the award

picoCTF-Africa is open to everyone. Students and teams that do not meet these requirements can still participate, but will not be eligible to win contest prizes. Please see competition rules for details.

There is no fee to participate. Students can sign up to compete through the last day of the competition. There is no limit to the number of teams that can represent a single school, and team members do not have to attend the same school.

Terms and conditions

  • All team members must meet award criteria for the team to be considered as a winner.
  • picoCTF-Africa reserves the right to request participants to present any documents that verify the identity and nationality of participants.
  • picoCTF-Africa reserves the right to request participants to present a notified letter from the school dean or student ID.
  • All registration will be done on the picoCTF platform
  • picoCTF-Africa reserves the right to determine qualification for certain award criteria
  • Any misrepresentation or false information provided by a participant will lead to disqualification of the team.
  • If the top-performing team is at least 50% female, that team wins both the team award and the Women in Cybersecurity Award.

More information

Contact us with questions about picoCTF-Africa or to learn about sponsorships

Learn more about CyLab-Africa

Learn more about CyLab Security and Privacy Institute