Ghana’s Cybersecurity development ranked third in Africa

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, to speak at maiden Africa Technovate Awards
Minister for Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

The 2020 Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) report of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) released this week has placed Ghana third, behind Mauritius and Tanzania, with a score of 86.69 percent on the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) of the (ITU), said a press statement issued in Accra and signed by Dr. Albert Antwi-Boasiako, Head of the National Cybersecurity Authority-Ghana.

Since the GCI’s launch in 2015 it has been a trusted reference, measuring countries’ commitment to cybersecurity and raising awareness of its importance. The level of each country’s development or engagement is assessed along the five strategic pillars of the Union’s Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA) – i.e., Legal Measures, Technical Measures, Organisational Measures, Capacity Building, and International Cooperation. This is then aggregated into an overall score. The current assessment covers the 2019-2020 period and reflects data collected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ghana’s current score on the metric shows major progress from the previous ratings in 2017 and 2018 of 32.6 percent and 43.7 percent respectively. Its 3rd place ranking in Africa is also a major leap from the 11th place attained in the previous rating, and projects Ghana as among the best in the region and globally.

The achievement is proof of government’s commitment to developing the country’s cyberspace to be secure and resilient for a sustained digital transformation.

This commitment is evidenced by efforts of government through the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation working with the members of the National Cyber Security Inter-Ministerial Advisory Council (NCSIAC) and National Cyber Security Technical Working Group (NCSTWG) in the implementation of critical interventions in the country’s cybersecurity ecosystem.

Key among the interventions meriting this rating are: a revision of the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy to provide a national direction and implementation plan for Ghana’s cybersecurity development; passage of the Cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038) to provide a legal basis for its cybersecurity development; institutionalisation of cybersecurity to foster domestic cooperation and collaboration; and ratification of relevant cybercrime/cybersecurity international conventions and treaties such as the Convention on Cybercrime, also known as the Budapest Convention and African Union Convention on Cyber Security & Personal Data Protection, also known as the Malabo conventions; ECOWAS’ Regional Cybersecurity Cybercrime Strategy and the Regional Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) Protection Policy to strengthen Ghana’s international response in fighting cybercrime and improve on cybersecurity.

Other key factors contributing to Ghana’s rating include the development of Ghana’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) ecosystem, and the country’s persistence in capacity building and awareness-creation – notably, institutionalisation of the annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) in October as a result of launching the National Cybersecurity Awareness Programme (safer Digital Ghana). Other areas where the country has shown commitment in the fight against cybercrime include deployment of the Cybercrime/Cybersecurity Incident Reporting Points of Contact (PoC) to enable individuals and organisations report cyber-related incidents with ease and to receive advisories.

Government, through the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation, is working closely with other relevant ministries, agencies, international partners and private sector stakeholders and remains committed in its efforts to ensure that the various digitalisation interventions rolled out are secured. Given this, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is expected to transition into the Cyber Security Authority (CSA) in the coming weeks per Section 2 of the Cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038), to regulate cybersecurity activities in the country and to further lead Ghana’s cybersecurity development.

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