Help build resilient digital economy - Committee charged

BY: Maclean Kwofi
Ursula Owusu-Ekuful (head of table), Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, administering the oath of office to members of the Joint Cybersecurity Committee
Ursula Owusu-Ekuful (head of table), Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, administering the oath of office to members of the Joint Cybersecurity Committee

The Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has charged the newly constituted Joint Cybersecurity Committee (JCC) to help deploy measures that can support efforts by the government to create a resilient digital economy.

She maintained that the JCC must collaborate with the Cyber Security Authority (CSA) and other relevant institutions to address cybersecurity issues, such as critical information infrastructural protection, effective criminal justice response and awareness creation.

“We cannot sustain our digitalisation efforts without cybersecurity. Cyber attacks could undermine our gains in digitalisation, as well as our social and economic well-being, and consequently impact on our national security.

“In order to achieve a secure and resilient digital economy, each and every one of us in the JCC will have to play our part,” Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said.

The committee

The minister gave the charge when she inaugurated the new committee in Accra last Thursday.

The 18-member committee is chaired by the Director-General of the CSA, Dr Albert Antwi-Boasiako.

The members are Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, Richard Okyere-Fosu, Joe Anokye, Patricia Adusei-Poku, Dr Maxwell Opoku-Afari, Kwaku Dua, Nana Attobrah Quaicoe and COP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah.

Others are DCOP Frederick Agyei, Col (Dr) Tim Ba-Taa-Banah, Kwabena Adu-Boahene, Maj. Gen. A.Y. Nsiah, Laud Akwasi Affrifah, George Abaka Blankson, Col A.K. Oduah, Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa and Nana Kofi Asafu-Aidoo.

The JCC was established pursuant to Section 13 of the Cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038) to collaborate with the CSA and the sectors or institutions represented on the committee.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said due to the cross-sectoral nature of cybersecurity, the government thought it wise to have such a group to facilitate prompt response.

She said the committee would also help provide resolution for incidents which impacted on the security of digital applications, services and infrastructure as the government increasingly digitalised its operations across all socio-economic activities.

It was set up to provide institutional collaboration at the highest level to develop the country’s cybersecurity space, she added.

“Owing to the hard work of institutions and agencies in the cybersecurity space, we made significant progress in cybersecurity development, placing Ghana third on the African continent and 43rd globally in the Global Cybersecurity Index of the International Telecommunications Union, with a score of 86.69 per cent in 2020.

“This is against a score of 32.6 per cent in 2017 when we started putting the building blocks for our cybersecurity development in place,” she added.

Justice Asare-Botwe, who spoke on behalf of the committee members, pledged that it would do its best to help deliver a secure cyber environment for the country.

“It seems no grinding work in the public service is becoming accepted. In other jurisdictions, the very best are the people often invited to serve in public service,” she said.

She said she was very certain that members of the committee were selected from the best and so they would give of their best with regard to cybersecurity measures to further grow the ecosystem.