$ 4 million PKI system to authenticate electronic transactions—Communications Minister

The Ministry of Communications as part of its cyber security agenda has established the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI ) Information Communication Technology (ICT) facility to protect electronic transactions in the country.

The $4-million-dollar ICT infrastructure, under the World Bank E-Transform project, is being hosted by the National Information Technology Agency.

Speaking at a ceremony in Accra on Wednesday to introduce key stakeholders such as the Judiciary, the office of the Senior Minister, Ministry of Finance and National Health Insurance to the KPI facility, the Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, said the establishment of the KPI was to protect and authenticate electronic transactions in Ghana.

“This is an additional layer of authentication that protects our digital infrastructure and electronic payment industry,” the minister said.

She said operators in the Fintechs, applications and software developers had long called for the KPI facility to give authentication and protection to their products and services.

The Minister of Communications said the establishment of the KPI would enhance the security of electronic transactions in the country.

 Mrs Owusu-Ekuful also indicated the establishment of the KPI was to help the country develop her own electronic payment systems.

Currently, she disclosed that some payment systems such as PayPal did not accept electronic payment services from Ghana.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said the KPI project would help promote e-commerce in the country.

Under the KPI programme, the Minister of Communications said both state and public organisations engaged in electronic payment services would have to register to acquire digital signatures and certificates to authenticate their services.

Particularly, she said the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority, Passport Office and National Health Insurance Authority would have to be signed to the KPI to give authenticity to their services.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful further observed that with Ghana’s hosting of the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat, it had become necessary for the country to establish the KPI to give confidence to the country’s partners about electronic payment services in Ghana.

She disclosed that the International Web Trust Authority has been invited to vet and authenticate the KPI facilities.

 By Kingsley Asare

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