A dedicated source of funding is needed to boost cyber security in Africa, stakeholders speaking at the 2019 Ghana National Cyber Security Awareness Forum have said.

According to them, a permanent and sufficient funding needs to be secured to combat the rise in cyber-crime across the world.

They shared the comments at the 2019 National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) program, which attracted Ministers of Communication and Information across the sub-region, ambassadors, as well as industry stakeholders.

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the formal opening of the program here in Accra, the Minister for Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful outlined the risks for Ghana and Africa in the event of a cyber-attack.

“If anything along the scale of what has been happening around the world were to happen here, our entire governance, financial, educational system among others will grind to a halt.”

On his part the National Cyber-security advisor Albert Antwi-Boasiako highlighted the need for dedicated funding to deal with the issue of cyber threats.

“Right in our neighborhood Nigeria has introduced a levy on electronic transactions to fund their cyber-security. Togo has also established a sovereign cyber-security fund with contribution from telecommunication service operators, based on their annual turnover. I am afraid that if we don’t invest by making dedicated funding available, the very gains that Ghana has made will not be sustainable.”

In a speech read by Interior Minister Ambrose Dery on behalf of President Akufo-Addo, the President said the passage of the Cyber Security Bill into law will underpin the establishment of the much needed Cyber security fund.

The Communications Minister finally stated that Ghana can only continue to show leadership in the fight against cyber-crime if dedicated funding is secured.

The 2019 edition of the NCSAM

The 2019 edition of the National Cyber Security Awareness Month (taking place from 1st to 31st October 2019) under the theme “Demonstrating Ghana’s Cyber-security Readiness” is part of national efforts to build capacity and raise awareness on cyber-crimes and the need to improve Ghana’s cyber-security readiness among children, the general public, corporate Ghana and government agencies.

The month-long program featured a programme of activities including thought leadership sessions, panel discussions, lectures, exhibitions and training sessions.

Ghana lost US$105 million to cyber-crime in 2018 — CID

Latest figures from the Cyber-Crime Unit of the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service has shown that money lost to cyber fraudsters increased from US$35.7 million in 2016 to US$105million in 2018.

Dr. Gustav Yankson, Director of the Cyber-crime Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department, Ghana Police Service who revealed this said it adds to the US$69.2 million lost in 2017.

Thus, the country lost a whopping US$229.9 million to recorded cyber-crime cases between 2016 and August last year, with 60 percent of cases being fraud related and 40 percent related to monies stolen from banks.

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