President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has indicated that, as Ghana is scaling up e-connectivity as part of government’s digitalization agenda, there will certainly be an upsurge of criminal activity. However, there is the need to put in place precautionary measures to forestall such eventualities.

The President assured his government was going to provide adequate funding to secure the country’s cyber space and establish a cyber-security culture in the country, amidst the present dangers that technological advancement poses to the security of the state.

Indicating that, “Government is going to set up a Cybersecurity academy as part of measures to enhance the fight against Cybercrime, and a National Cybersecurity Authority to oversee the operations of all agencies in the digital value chain.”

President Akufo-Addo was speaking at the climax of the National Cyber Security Awareness Month organized by the Ministry of Communications in collaboration with the National Cyber Security Centre at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), on 22nd October, 2018, dubbed, ‘A Safer Digital Ghana.’

According to the President, “With 10 million Ghanaians connected to the internet, of which 4.9 million are Facebook users alone, the impact of any cyber-attack on our e-business platforms or on mobile telephony will impact negatively on businesses and on the lives of Ghanaians.”

He therefore, underscored the need to increase public sensitization, capacity building and investment in a fit-for-purpose cyber security infrastructure to pave way for a safe and secure digital system.

Meanwhile, he said, “The National Cybersecurity Strategy would be revised by end of the year.” Adding that, government had already signed both the Malabo and Budapest Convention which paves way for Ghana to implement initiatives on cybersecurity.

President Akufo-Addo further assured that, government was putting in all efforts to push for parliament to ratify the deal when the House resumes.

On her part the Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu Ekuful (MP), intimated that, Cybersecurity has become one of the dominant issues in the economy of the country. However, the President had amply demonstrated his commitment for Ghana’s cybersecurity ecosystem.

“While internet is an important tool for social interaction, there are predators out there. However, the MoC has established the Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERT) as one initiative to secure our cyberspace,” She indicated.

The Minister also said, the survival of the country depends on the ability to protect the country’s critical data and systems. Noting that, a mobile network in 2017 alone blocked more than 400,000 scam messages.

She said, Cybersecurity in the public sector was a priority for the inter ministerial advisory committee, to ensure for a robust defense of Ghana’s cyber security assets, especially in the wake of the Akufo-Addo government’s digitisation agenda as part of plans to formalise the economy.

The National Cybersecurity Advisor, Mr. Albert Antwi Boasiako, in an interview disclosed that, cybersecurity working group in Ghana was exemplary in the subregion, “Despite the efforts, we need to scale up our efforts to address the gaps in our national cyberspace legislation, and as well as speed up capacity building efforts for public officials.”

In terms of Ghana’s efforts related to cyber security environment he said, Ghana “falls between formative and established categories” but moving to dynamic quickly.

“We need to intensify our public awareness Creation effort and most importantly, we need to operationalize our international cooperation efforts in addressing the challenges that we face as a country,” Mr Antwi-Boasiako reemphasized.

World Bank Country Director, Henry Kerali also said African countries had lost about 3.5 billion dollars to Cybercrime in recent years. In view that, World Bank would collaborate with countries around the world in order to reduce cyber attack exposures.

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