President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo has reiterated the commitment of Government to creating a safe and secure cyber society for the country.
Speaking at the 2018 National Cybersecurity Awareness Month event, on Monday at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), President Akufo-Addo noted that whilst his Government is putting in place measures to digitise Ghana’s economy, it is also mindful of the dark side of digitisation.
“As we scale up e-connectivity, as part of government’s digitalization agenda, we will, certainly, witness an upsurge of criminal activities, if we do not put in place precautionary measures to forestall such eventualities,” he said.
With 10 million Ghanaians connected to the internet, of which 4.9 million are Facebook users alone, the impact of any cyberattack on the nation’s e-business platforms or on mobile telephony, he said, would impact negatively on businesses and on the lives of Ghanaians.
As a result, President Akufo-Addo noted that Government is increasing efforts at increasing public sensitisation, capacity building and investment in a fit-for-purpose cybersecurity infrastructure, to help make the country’s digital experience safe and secure.
As part of measures to make the country’s digital experience safe, the President, later on Monday, launched the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) for the telecommunications sector to co-ordinate incident response within that sector.
“Also, a Security Operations Centre (SOC) has been set up at the Bank of Ghana to facilitate cybersecurity incident monitoring and cyber threat information sharing amongst players in the financial sector,” the President said.
He continued, “The Bank of Ghana, working hand-in-hand with the Ministry of Communications and the Ghana Association of Bankers, will, this afternoon, launch a Cyber and Information Security Directive for the financial sector, in view of the persistent cyber-attacks targeted at this sector.”
In pursuing international co-operation engagements, as part of addressing the menace of cybercrime, President Akufo-Addo revealed that Ghana has ratified the African Union Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection (Malabo Convention), becoming the third country on the continent to do so.
“I have signed the Convention on Cybercrime, known as the Budapest Convention, following Cabinet approval. I am hopeful that Parliament will ratify it in its forthcoming meeting,” he said.
These two international treaties, the President stressed, will enhance Ghana’s co-operation with other countries at the policy, technical and operational levels in dealing with cybersecurity incidents.
Whilst congratulating the Minister for Communications, Hon. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, MP, and the members of the National Cyber Security Inter-Ministerial Advisory Council (NCSIAC), for the establishment of the National Cyber Security Centre, to co-ordinate cybersecurity activities in the country, he was also hopeful that the National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy (NCSPS), which is currently being revised, would be concluded before the end of the year.
The revision of the strategy, he stressed, is essential to addressing the current challenges, including funding issues for Ghana’s national cybersecurity development.
A “Safer Digital Ghana”, the theme for this year’s event, the President noted, reflects the collective decision to secure Ghana’s digital journey.
“We must all contribute in making the digital experience truly safe for our country and region. Large-scale awareness programmes, such as this, to inform the general public and government officials to develop a cybersecurity culture, are necessary, and would always receive the support of my Government,” President Akufo-Addo assured.