Editorial: Strengthening the fight against cybercrime


According to the Cybercrime Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), an amount of US$19million was lost to cybercrime in 1,097 cases reported in 2020.

Indeed, Cyber fraud is becoming a menace to efforts at digitalising the economy to benefit from opportunities in this era of digital economy. Across developed economies, digitisation improves productivity and has a measurable effect on growth.

Creating digital markets and boosting digitisation can yield significant economic benefits and lead to substantial social benefits for societies and communities. In doing so, however, it becomes increasingly important to stem the tide of cyber fraud that is becoming a growing phenomenon.

That is why Ghana’s decision to sign the Council of Europe Second Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cybercrime (Budapest Convention) will play a pivotal role in addressing the challenges presented by cybercrime.

On June 28, 2023, Ghana’s Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, signed the protocol on the country’s behalf at the Council of Europe Headquarters in Strasbourg, France.

This signing comes four years after Ghana ratified the convention, and establishes Ghana as the second African country, following Mauritius, to sign the protocol.

The Budapest Convention is a framework that permits hundreds of practitioners from parties to share experiences and create relationships that facilitate cooperation in specific cases – including emergency situations – beyond the specific provisions foreseen in the Convention.

The protocol provides law enforcement authorities with valuable tools to protect Internet users, deliver justice to victims and strengthen cooperation between governments and service providers.

Director-General of the Cyber Security Authority (CSA), Albert Antwi-Boasiako, notes that the protocol provides law enforcement authorities with essential tools to safeguard Internet users, deliver justice to victims, and strengthen cooperation between governments and service providers.

These recent developments demonstrate the country’s commitment to enhancing international cooperation in combatting cybercrime and ensuring the effective disclosure of electronic evidence.

Cyber fraud is the most common type of crime within cyber-space, followed by sexual image abuse and various forms of intrusion ranking third.

Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful explained that adopting the protocol will strengthen cybercrime investigation efforts and lead to more adjudication of cybercrime cases, globally.

Making transactions and receiving payments online has also come with the risk of cybercrime, therefore cyber resilience is needed in Ghana to secure end-to-end points in the financial services ecosystem.

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