Three African countries – The Gambia, Sierra Leone and Mozambique – have called on the Cyber Security Authority (CSA) for collaboration and support for the development of cyber security in their respective countries.
The courtesy calls were led by senior officials of the cyber security institutions of these countries on the side-lines of the Africa Union (AU) – Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE) Africa Cyber Experts Kick-Off Meeting in March 2022 in Accra and as part of improving bilateral relations with Ghana.
Within the last five years, Ghana has taken progressive steps towards the development of cyber security in the country, and these include the ratification of international treaties like the Convention on Cybercrime also known as the Budapest Convention and the African Union Convention on Cyber Security & Personal Data Protection also known as the Malabo convention.
Ghana has also ensured the institutionalisation of cyber security to foster regional cooperation through the adoption of the ECOWAS’ Regional Cyber security Cybercrime Strategy and the Regional Critical Infrastructure (CII) Protection Policy to strengthen Ghana’s international response in fighting cybercrime and to improve on cybersecurity.
Recognising these and other initiatives, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in its 2020 Global Cyber security Index (GCI), rated Ghana’s Cyber security development at 86.69%, a major progress from previous ratings in 2017 which was 32.6%. The ratings place Ghana 3rd on the African continent and 43rd globally; a development that has positioned Ghana as a leader in cyber security on the continent, and hence a model for other African countries to learn from.
The Ag. Director-General of the CSA, Dr. Albert Antwi-Boasiako, who likened the visits to Ghana’s post-independence era, indicated that, Ghana’s modest but significant cybersecurity development will be meaningless if other African countries do not develop along the same line as nations are interconnected and cyber insecurity in one country has a real impact on another country.
The CSA, he said, is ready to collaborate and also to learn from other African countries to develop critical areas such as awareness creation, home-grown capacity building and the protection of critical information infrastructure, among others.
According to the Ag Director-General, CSA’s mandate on international cooperation is provided under Section 83 of the Cyber security Act, 2020 (Act 1038). Dr Antwi-Boasiako added that cyber is a global commodity and thus cybercrime can only be combatted through effective international collaborations.
A Mozambiquan delegation of three from the National Information and Communications Technology Institute (INTIC) led by Prof. Lourino Alberto Chemane, Chairman of the Board of the National Information and Communication Technology; expressed the country’s interest in learning from Ghana’s experience in cyber security development and establishing a relationship with the CSA.
The delegation further requested the CSA to guide them through the required guidelines to enable them to ratify the Budapest Convention, which Ghana has already ratified, and to assist Mozambique to implement their Cyber security Policy and Strategy.
A three-man delegation from the Gambia, led by the Managing Director of the Gambia Telecommunications Company Limited, Lamin A. Tunkara, indicated that they are “on a mission to acquire knowledge and to seek partnerships with the CSA”.
They expressed confidence in Ghana’s efforts in developing cyber security and stated their interest to have some cyber experts from Ghana to visit them in The Gambia and to train their personnel.
The Deputy Director-General of the National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM) of Sierra Leone, Amara Brewah, led a two-man delegation to visit the CSA.
According to them, they see Ghana as a leader in cyber security development on the continent and want to collaborate and learn from Ghana’s experiences.
He expressed their interest to learn more about Ghana’s National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) Ecosystem, Protection of Critical Information Infrastructure (CII), Child Online Protection (COP), and the “Safer Digital Ghana” awareness creation programme.
In order to formalise the discussions, the CSA and the Sierra Leonean delegation agreed to facilitate the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries.
The Ag. Director-General, expressed his appreciation to the delegation for their visit and assured them of CSA’s commitment to collaborate and achieve a truly secured and resilient digital Africa.
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