Fund to support cyber security programmes in the offing

“The government is exploring avenues to establish a cyber security fund to support short term, medium-term and long-term cyber security programmes,” Minister of Communications (MOC), Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has said.

This proposal, she said, is contained in the Cybersecurity Bill currently being drafted to be passed into law.

Speaking on a three-day workshop for the members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Communications on the Cybersecurity Bill at Ada in the Greater Accra Region, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said  lack of a dedicated and sustainable budget to fund cyber security activities had become a major challenge to the Ministry.

She said the MOC and the National Cybersecurity Centre had to depend on the National Communications Authority and development partners for financial resources to run their programmes.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said there had been the need for the country to develop a cyber security law to deal with emerging threats and crimes in the cyber security space.

“Whilst the Electronic Transactions Act 2008 (Act 772) and the Data Protection Act 2012 (Act 843) provide some provisions with respect to cyber crime and personal data protection, there is lack of a comprehensive cyber security law capable of addressing the current complexities of cyber crime and cyber security in the country,” she said.

The Minister explained that there is currently an increasing access to various technology devices such as computers and mobile phones across the world, especially in developing countries like Ghana.

 Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said there was the need for law to criminalise nefarious activities in the cyber space, saying, the law focused on five core areas including securing digital infrastructure, deterring cyber crime, developing national capacity, building a resilient digital ecosystem and a strengthening cooperation.

The Minister commended the Parliamentary Select Committee on Communications for their hard work which saw Ghana ratifying the Budapest and Malabo Conventions, making Ghana the third country on the African continent to have ratified these two international treaties on cybercrime and security, saying, the conventions emphasised on data protection and international cooperation in combating cyber crime.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful entreated the Parliamentary Select Committee on Communications to come out with suggestions on areas to raise money for the Cybersecurity Fund.

The Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Communications, Mr Kennedy Ohene Agyapong said the workshop was to educate the members of the Committee on the Cybersecurity Bill and make recommendations and input into the bill.

By Kingsley Asare

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