Resilient digital ecosystem vital for inclusive economic growth – Bawumia


Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has reiterated government’s commitment to putting in place the needed structures to deal with issues of cybercrime which keep arising as a result of increasing digital connectivity.

Speaking at the official launch of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) on Monday in Accra, the Vice President said building a resilient digital ecosystem is vital for national development and inclusive growth – especially in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, new and emerging digital technologies and trends wherein Fifth Generation (5G) networks, social media among others are radically changing the business landscape and reshaping the nature of work and business operations.

“These are just a few examples to emphasise the point that in our current digitalised and interconnected environment, a single cybersecurity incident can affect an entire organisation, a whole nation or the world at large. Therefore, it is critical to build a strong shield against cyber threats and incidents that could undermine our capacity to act and develop,” Dr. Bawumia said in a keynote address delivered on his behalf by the Minister of Public Enterprises, Joseph Cudjoe, during the launch.

According to the World Economic Forum, cybercrime cost the world at least US$6trillion in 2021 and could lead to over US$10trillion in annual damages by 2025. Research by IBM also indicates that it takes 280 days to find and contain the average cyberattack, while the average attack costs US$3.86million.

Touching on the theme for this year’s NCSAM, ‘Regulating Cybersecurity: A Public-Private Sector Collaborative Approach’, Dr. Bawumia said cybersecurity development everywhere is a shared responsibility; and enhancing understanding of the provisions of the Cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038) and building synergies among all relevant stakeholders to ensure compliance with them is absolutely critical.

“Creating greater awareness of the law and relevance of cybersecurity regulations among children, the public, businesses and government while highlighting the need for public-private sector cooperation must be paramount. This Awareness Month is therefore important to ensure that everyone is involved in cybersecurity activities to ensure a safer digital Ghana,” he stated.

Deputy Communications and Digitalisation Minister, Ama Pomaa Boateng who spoke on behalf of sector minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, said activities earmarked for the month-long celebration are designed to enhance public-private sector understanding of the cybersecurity law and provide a platform for industry players and stakeholders to make inputs into activities currently being implemented by the CSA.

NCSAM, she further noted, is part of global efforts to raise awareness on cybercrime trends, cybersecurity issues and cyber hygiene practices; as well as to dialogue and highlight the growing cybersecurity issues under specific thematic areas.

“The Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation is committed to this programme, and I urge public and private sector institutions and Civil Society Organisations to participate fully in the NCSAM 2022 activities this October by organising awareness programmes for their stakeholders and constituents,” she stated.

The Acting Director General of the Cyber Security Authority, Dr. Albert Antwi-Boasiako, said cybercrimes and cybersecurity-related matters are borderless and thus both local and international collaborations are paramount in tackling them; and collaborations with various stakeholders play a significant role in ensuring the CSA executes its mandate successfully.

He said the CSA looks forward to working closely with the Industry Forum, which is to be established under section 81 of Act 1038.

“The Industry Forum’s establishment and operationalisation will undoubtedly bring the private sector and industry players together to work closely with the Authority on cybersecurity matters. International cooperation has also been key to Ghana’s cybersecurity development, as we have benefitted enormously through exchange of experiences, joint exercises, capacity-building programmes as well as intelligence-sharing on cyber threats, among others,” he stated.

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