The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has indicated that the government is resolute in creating a conducive atmosphere for the nurturing and development of the Nation’s cybersecurity sector.
He said these are revolutionary times for the digital community in Ghana and that there is the need to consolidate gains made in transforming the economy into a more digitalized one.
This was contained in a speech delivered on his behalf by the Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery, at the 2019 National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) dubbed, ‘Demonstrating Ghana’s Cybersecurity Readiness’, at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre.
“We are in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is essentially a technological revolution that is significantly changing the ways in which we conduct business and interact with each other. To this end, my Government has rolled out a number of initiatives geared towards transforming how we interact with each other, do business and provide various services.” he said.
He underpinned some of the initiatives including, the Digital Property Addressing System, National Identification System, Paperless Port System, e-Justice System, e-Procurement System, Mobile Money Interoperability System, Integrated Tax Application and Preparation System among other e-government initiatives.
Ambrose Dery underscored the need to take full advantage of the opportunities all of these initiatives bring for economic growth and sustainable development, saying “This notwithstanding, we acknowledge that the dependence on ICT to revolutionize our economy will not be devoid of cyber threats and attacks.
He added: ”Therefore, the Government initiated the process of setting up a National Cyber Security Secretariat, which has now evolved into a the National Cyber Security Centre and it is envisioned, that it will soon become a fully-fledged Authority after the introduction of the Cybersecurity Bill. It is on the back of this, that I am delighted that the Centre has continued in its awareness activities which begun two years ago as a cyber week celebration, and has now become an event which is an integral part of our annual calendar.
“According to the World Economic Forum, economic loss due to cybercrime is predicted to reach $3 trillion by 2020 and 74% of the world’s businesses can expect to be hacked in the coming year. Indeed examples of such attacks abound as countries around the world experience incidents of cybercrime.”
The National Cyber Security Advisor, Dr. Albert Antwi-Bosiako, in his welcome address said cyber security was increasing at an alarming rate, both regionally and globally.
He said the attacks were likely to escalate in the near future, especially with the increase in Internet penetration and the massive reliance on information and communications technology (ICT) devices such as mobile phones for day-to-day transactions and interactions by citizens.
He said over the past two-and-a-half years, the country had shown tangible deliverables with respect to cybersecurity development “because we have been privileged to have a President who believes that building a digital economy requires sustainable investment in our cybersecurity”.
“The introduction of a sustainable mechanism for funding cybersecurity by the government is therefore not a new phenomenon in responding to the current and anticipated threats targeting our digital economy. It is a strategic imperative, with not many options, for a country thriving on digitization.
”Whilst we do not have an option to secure our digital ecosystem than to fund such initiatives; stakeholders including advocacy groups do have the right and are encouraged to discuss and propose alternative funding models to support this government initiative,” he called.
Members of the National Cyber Security Technical Working Group, comprising agencies with responsibilities over cybercrime and cybersecurity, had been instrumental in working towards enhancing the state of security in cyberspace.
The 2019 edition of the National Cyber Security Awareness Month (taking place from 1st to 31st October 2019) under the theme “Demonstrating Ghana’s Cyber-security Readiness” is part of national efforts to build capacity and raise awareness on cyber-crimes and the need to improve Ghana’s cyber-security readiness among children, the general public, corporate Ghana and government agencies.
The month-long program featured a programme of activities including thought leadership sessions, panel discussions, lectures, exhibitions and training sessions.