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Government Outlines Programmes To Enhance Proper Cyber Culture

Mr Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the Minister of Communications, on Monday announced a number of activities for sustained public awareness creation and to ensure a proper cyber culture among Ghanaians.

The activities included regional launches, workshops for selected schools across the 10 regions, cyber security and electronic evidence workshops for selected judges of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal for a frank exchange of ideas on cyber security.

Those workshops, she said, would help improve the understanding of participants on the use of digital evidence in the criminal justice administration and ensure that the nation reaped full dividends in the digital economy.

Addressing key stakeholders at the launch of the National Cyber Security Awareness Month and the National Cyber Security Awareness Programme dubbed: “A Safer Digital Ghana”, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said it was prudent to deepen international co-operation and dialogue, strengthening relations between governments and regional blocs, as well as other partners, to halt cybercrimes in view of the surge in the use of the Internet and other digital tools.

Therefore, the Ministry would involve all ECOWAS member countries in this year’s activities, through a joint collaboration with the World Bank and the ECOWAS Commission.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said Ghana was positioning herself as a hub for cybersecurity within the Sub-region, saying that, under the Revised National Cybersecurity Strategy, there would be stakeholders’ consolations in the next five years on cybersecurity issues so that the country would reap the full dividends from the emerging digital economy

She said the use of information communication technology had witnessed tremendous growth over the years, which cut across the various age groups, with the most vibrant users being between 18 and 20 years.

The 2016 Global Cyber Security Index, showed that half of the world’s population used the Internet for various purposes, with an estimation that by the year 2020, devices that would be connected to the Internet would hit 12 billion.

In that regard, the Communications Minister said there was the need to put measures in place to ensure safer cyber hygienic practices to promote a secured digital ecosystem for all users, including children, adults, businesses and governments.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful underscored the need for a stronger legal regime particularly, in developing nations like Ghana to fiercely combat the canker of cybercrimes.

Statistics released by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Services (Ghpss) and the Bank of Ghana (BoG) showed that almost a million transactions were recorded though the Mobile Money Interoperability platform, as at the end of August 2018, barely three months after the system was launched by the Vice President

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said the growing use of digital services for businesses had become an irresistible target for cybercriminals, therefore, there was the need to address cyber security challenges as a matter of urgency, in order to reap the full dividends the emerging digital economy brings to the citizenry to prevent it from becoming a curse.

She underscored the need to strengthen cybersecurity as a key foundation for Ghana’s digital economy, adding that last year, the Ministry undertook a number of initiatives and established a National Cyber Security Governance Framework, developed the Cyber Emergency Response Team Ecosystem, as well as commissioned the Assessment of the State of Maturity Cybersecurity, which was conducted by the World Bank in collaboration with the Global Cyber Security.

The month-long programme aimed at educating the public to safeguard the country’s cyber space would ensure a safer digital citizenship at all levels to include children, public, business and government, for their safety and the security of Ghana’s digital ecosystem.

The event, jointly organised by the Ministry of Communications and the National Cyber Security Centre, brought together Information Communication Technology Experts, Chief Executives of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Members of Parliament, Ministers of State and the donor partners as well as traditional rulers and students.

A cyber security maturity study, commissioned by the Ministry of Communications and conducted by the Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre (GCSCC) of the University of Oxford in collaboration with the World Bank, has described Ghana’s cyber security maturity level at a formative stage based on the Cyber Security Capacity Maturity Model for nations adopted for the study.

Source: GNA

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