LEGISLATION ON CYBERSECURITY WILL ADDRESS WEAKNESSES IN OUR CYBERCRIME LAWS

LEGISLATION ON CYBERSECURITY WILL ADDRESS WEAKNESSES IN OUR CYBERCRIME LAWS

LEGISLATION ON CYBERSECURITY WILL ADDRESS WEAKNESSES IN OUR CYBERCRIME LAWS

LEGISLATION ON CYBERSECURITY WILL ADDRESS WEAKNESSES IN OUR CYBERCRIME LAWS

LEGISLATION ON CYBERSECURITY WILL ADDRESS WEAKNESSES IN OUR CYBERCRIME LAWS

The Minister of Communications, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has assured Ghanaians, that her outfit is assiduously working to ensure the necessary legislation on Cybersecurity is finalised and passed to further strengthen the government’s commitment in the fight against cybercrime.

Ghana became the 62nd state party of the Convention on Cybercrime in December 2018, following the accession of the Convention by His Excellency the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. The accession to the Convention was to facilitate Ghana’s efforts in the fight against cybercrimes through international cooperation and to further strengthen the commitment by the Government to tackle cybercrime and its related issues.

In view of this, the National Cyber Security Centre of the Ministry of Communications in collaboration with the Council of Europe organised a two-day national conference on March 18-19, 2019 at the Movenpick Ambassador hotel, Accra for the technical implementation of the Convention on Cybercrime also known as Budapest Convention under Result 1.1 (“Cybercrime policies and strategies strengthened and integrated in broader cybersecurity policy frameworks in up to 15 countries (priority and a number of other countries) and experience shared with other countries”), and Activity 1.1.5 (“Provide country-specific advice on policies/strategies and preparation of annual report on cybercrime in pilot countries”) of the GLACY+ (Global Action on Cybercrime Extended) Project – an European Union and Council of Europe project.

The conference was to ensure stakeholders foster common understanding and cooperation in the fight against cybercrimes and also sought to raise awareness on opportunities and Ghana’s obligations under the Budapest Convention, both at the domestic and international levels.

Speaking at the conference, the Hon. Minister for Communications, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful bemoaned the need to fight cybercrimes through international recognition and pledged Ghana’s commitment.

“We have therefore become only the 5th country on the African continent to have acceded to the Convention, after Mauritius, Senegal, Cape Verde and Morocco. We have also ratified the African Union Convention on Cyber Security & Personal Data Protection, also known as the Malabo Convention, being only one of the 3 African countries, which have ratified both the Malabo and Budapest conventions, the other 2 being Mauritius and Senegal. These actions are borne out of our recognition that we need to fight the menace of cybercrime through international cooperation as we can’t go at it alone and we are privileged to work with the Council of Europe through the GLACY+ Project to learn from the experiences of others”, she said.

Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful assured stakeholders of the scrupulous efforts her Ministry is undertaking to ensure the necessary legislation on Cybersecurity is finalised and put in place to further strengthen the Ministry and for that matter Government’s commitment to the fight against cybercrime.

“I wish to announce that; the Ministry of Communications is currently working on a draft cybersecurity legislation which will address some identified weaknesses in our cybercrime laws and make provisions for appropriate sanctions for non-compliance with our cybersecurity provisions”, she noted.

“We are in the process of reviewing our Cybersecurity Policy & Strategy to ensure we have a future proof strategic document to guide our cybersecurity development which constitutes an important safeguard in Ghana’s digitalization agenda. The draft reviewed policy and strategy document is ready and shall be subjected to stakeholder and public consultations next month before being presented for Cabinet’s consideration and adoption. I implore you all to provide inputs to ensure the policy/strategy reflects our collective vision which will safeguard our digital journey”, she added.

On his part, the National Cybersecurity Advisor, Dr Albert Antwi-Boasiako expressed his appreciation for the excellent leadership exhibited by the Minister on Ghana’s cybersecurity development and how far the country has been led through the political process leading to Ghana’s accession to the Budapest Convention.

He also acknowledged the commitment by the Council of Europe and all other partners in supporting the country’s cybersecurity journey so far.

“As a country, we are grateful to have found partnership in the Council of Europe and other partners such as the World Bank, UNICEF, United States Government, Africa Union and our domestic supporter – the National Communications Authority (NCA) in our efforts to address cybercrimes. We are grateful to the Council of Europe for their strong commitment to Ghana especially in the area of capacity building”, he stated.

The Programmes Manager – Cybercrime Programme Office of the Council of Europe (C-PROC), Mr. Matteo Lucchetti, outlined some statistics which indicated Ghana is ranked 9th among the top ten countries in the world for number of hours spent per day on social media and cautioned participants about some cybercrime activities people encounter online.

He commended Ghana for the important contribution provided to all the actions developed in the GLACY+ framework and also becoming a priority country since its accession to the convention.