The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced plans for the establishment of a Cybersecurity Fund to facilitate the development of the country’s cybersecurity ecosystem.

In a speech read on his behalf by Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery, the President said in order to move from the formative stage to the established stage of the cybersecurity capacity maturity scale, it is imperative to have a well thought out strategy for the allocation of resources to support cybersecurity development.

It is for this reason that “the government has decided to establish the Cyber Security Fund to facilitate the development of the nation’s cybersecurity ecosystem.”

The Fund will cater for research and development, capacity building for public officials and support for businesses, including Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).

Also, government hopes that the Fund will facilitate the establishment of a National Cyber Academy and regional Cyber Crime units.

Cybercrime is costing governments and organisations across the world million in damages every year. With ransomware on the rise and hacker attacks becoming more and more sophisticated.

Ghana has, in view of this, resolved to become one of the leading countries in this fight by implementing a series of new institutional and legislative measures.

The Cybercrime Unit within the Ghana Police Services has released details of how cybercrime has cost the country roughly $230 million in the period from 2016 to August 2018.

In 2016 alone, the damages rose to over $35 million, while in 2017 this almost doubled to reach more than $69 million. Bank losses rose to 40% of that amount, or $28 million, proving that large financial institutions are a consistent target for hackers looking for ways to steal money.

Convinced that cybercrime and security transcend sectors, President Akufo-Addo has vowed put in place measures to lessen its effect on Ghana.

“It is hoped that there will be additional sectorial computer emergency response teams across sectors such as Education, Defence and other critical national information infrastructure sectors. The Ministry of Communication is taking steps in this area to further improve Ghana’s cyber resilience.”

On capacity building, President Akufo-Addo said government plans to incorporate Cybersecurity Education into the curriculum of basic and senior high schools in the country.

This he noted, will help build the capacity of citizens from the early stages and take efforts made during the awareness month a step further.

“Inferring from the progress we have made so far, we can confidently say that the attainment of the established stage of the cybersecurity capacity maturity scheme is within sight.

“Ghana will continue to look up to other countries which have made great strides in cybersecurity to ensure regional and international collaboration in her journey towards achieving cybersecurity maturity as part of Ghana’s digital strategy.”

President Akufo-Addo stressed the need for the private sector to support government in ensuring that Ghana’s digital experience is truly secure, resilient and robust.