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Government committed to fight cybercrime – Minister

By
Iddi Yire, GNA
  

Accra, July 21, GNA –
The government is committed to fight 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 Peace-keeping 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.

GNA

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