The government is committed to fighting cybercrime, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekufful, Minister of Communications, has said.
She said the Communications Ministry had been tasked with the responsibility to champion cyber security initiatives in the country, which according to her, could be executed successfully.
She said government intended to scale up the digitisation of the economy, by making the national identity card (ID) system ready by end of the year, and also activating a digital property address system that would link all the databases in various sectors to enhance law enforcement.
Mrs Owusu-Ekufful said this at the first Academic Alumni day/homecoming of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in Accra.
The event was on the theme “Reconnecting and Networking for Peace and Security”.
“As a result of this, I am overseeing the development of a multi stakeholder cyber-security governance structure that would involve the different stakeholders including representatives from the national security, military, financial services, energy, telecommunications transport and logistics,” she said.
Speaking on the topic “Cyber and National Security Perspectives and Challenges and the Role of Education/KAIPTC”, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said cybercrimes not only have financial or economic impacts on the country, but also social and political repercussions, hence the emerging nexus between cyber activities and national security within the context of Ghana’s security landscape.
“The UK, US, and other developed countries have been victims of cyber-attacks in the past, and so Ghana is prone,” such as the reported incident of cyber-attack on the Electoral Commission’s election results transmission system during the 2016 general election, she added.
Available research including some of the publications by journals at KAIPTC suggests that the cyber environment is increasingly becoming a fertile ground for criminality.
Eminence has also been established relative to the use of the internet for human trafficking, drug trafficking, terrorism, money laundering and other transnational crimes which are matters of national security.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful, herself an alumnus of KAIPTC said: “Our electronics transactions act, data protection act, and the electronics communication act defines cyber offences from the legal perspective, for example unauthorised access to a protected system or illegal interception of electronic communications which all constitute crimes under the electronics act 2008.”
“Our ability to give effect to these pieces of legislation is a little lacking, but thankfully we are doing something about it by training our law enforcement agencies, judicial officers, etc. in the application of the law and the ability to identify, investigate, and prosecute these offenders properly,” she added.
Air Vice Marshal Griffiths Santrofi Evans, the Commandant, KAIPTC charged members of the alumni to preach peace in their various endeavours.
“The lack of peace and security in every section of the country would be a recipe for disaster,” he said.
Mr Christoph Retzlaff, the German Ambassador, said the event was an ideal opportunity for alumni members to improve their networking by exchanging experience and skill.
He said this year alone, Germany had contributed about two million euros for 27 courses which demonstrated how important his country saw the role of the Centre in Ghana and the West African Region.
“I would also want to call on you to increase collaboration with the AU, ECOWAS, and the UN,” he said.
Brigadier General Dr Emmanuel Kotia, the Deputy Commandant, KAIPTC, said the Centre, introduced the PhD programme in International Conflict Management two years ago, which was currently about to interview its third batch.
“Looking at the future of our academic programmes, we want to continue with these programmes and probably look at introducing distant education for some of the courses,” he said.
The Deputy Commandant charged members of the alumni to get in touch with the Research Department of the Centre or visit the Centres official website to be abreast of some of the topical issues being discussed.