Communications and Digitisation Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has charged Ghanaians to participate in the ongoing mobile SIM re-registration exercise before the deadline; as failure to do so, she warned, will lead to deactivation of their SIM cards.
The country has begun the re-registration of mobile SIM cards on Friday, October 1, 2021. The exercise will last for six months, ending on March 31, 2022.
The exercise, according to government, aims at protecting the country’s cyberspace from fraudsters, ensuring effective monitoring and tracking down persons engaged in cybercrime.
“We must reduce the incidence of mobile device-related cybercrimes. All unregistered SIMs will be deactivated at the end of the registration exercise. We will enforce the law to the letter,” she said at the official launch of the National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) 2021, Cyber Security Authority (CSA) and the Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) Directive on Friday, October 1, 2021 in Accra.
The cyber security awareness month
The theme for this year’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month is ‘Ghana’s Cybersecurity Act 2020: Its Implications and the Role of Stakeholders’. The theme, Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful explained, seeks to emphasise Ghana’s efforts in accomplishing an important milestone – an enactment and implementation of cybersecurity legislation among four other critical pillars of a nation’s cybersecurity development, as recommended by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
She said passage of the Cybersecurity Act 2020, which established the Cyber Security Authority (ACT), was indeed a milestone achievement that set the country on the path to a safer and more resilient digital ecosystem.
Ghana’s Cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038) is considered as world-class legislation at par with legislation of the United States, United Kingdom, Singapore, Rwanda and other countries with robust cybersecurity legislation, the communications and digitisation minister stated.
“At the latest release of the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) of the ITU, Ghana was ranked the 3rd country in Africa and 43rd globally with a score of 86.69 percent on the assessment scale. This is a major improvement from the 32.6 percent score recorded in 2017 when the then Ministry of Communications was directed by Cabinet to oversee Ghana’s cybersecurity development. Ghana scores 19.35 percent out of a total of 20 percent regarding the legal regime, and this high score was achieved because of the introduction of Act 1038,” she noted.
The minister thanked Ghana’s international partners including the government of the United Kingdom, the United States government, the World Bank, the Council of Europe and UNICEF among others and “our domestic stakeholders cannot pass unappreciated”.
Above all, she said, “President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s commitment to and recognition of cybersecurity as an imperative to securing our digital economy was affirmed by his assent to the Act on December 29, 2020 for implementation”.
For Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful, a substantive Cybersecurity Act for Ghana was indeed a significant achievement at this stage of cybersecurity development; and this, together with the revision of Ghana’s National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy, ratification of both the Convention on Cybercrime (Budapest Convention) and the African Union Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection (Malabo Convention), the launch of the Safer Digital Ghana programme by Vice President H.E. Dr. Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, the launch of the Cybercrime & Cybersecurity Incidents Reporting Points of Contact, as well as capacity building for the public sector including training for the criminal justice sector are major interventions introduced by the ministry through the National Cyber Security Centre during the first term of this government.