4 July 2017

West Africa: MFWA, Csos Urge Government to Implement Ghana's Cyber Security Policy & Strategy

press release

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) and other Ghanaian civil society organisations, including the Internet Freedom CSO Coalition, Ghana, have called on the government to implement the National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy, which was adopted by Cabinet in the last quarter of 2016.

The civil society organisations (CSOs) made the call at a Stakeholders' Forum on Cyber Security Issues in Ghana. The forum which was under the theme, Ghana's Cyber Security Environment: Challenges and the Way Forward, brought together sector Ministries, state security agencies, business entities and associations, academia, civil society, media and the general public.

In a statement read on behalf of the CSOs by Ms Felicia Anthonio of the MFWA, the CSOs asked government to clarify the implementation status of the Policy.

As civil society organisations committed to promoting the interests and the rights of all Ghanaians, including women both online and offline, we believe that the National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy is a key policy document that can safeguard the safety of Ghanaians in cyber space. We are, therefore, very concerned that there has been limited information about the implementation status of the national policy and strategy, the statement read.

The CSOs also expressed concern about the low levels of engagement by government and the private sector in forums and discussions around cyber security and other internet-related issues. They again called on the stakeholders to proactively engage CSOs to ensure that the interests of end-users (whose interests CSOs represent) are factored into decision making.

"We also call on government, particularly the Ministry of Communication to include civil society in the National Cyber Security Council that the Ministry announced it will be setting up."

In response, the Deputy Minister of Communications, Hon. Vincent Sowah Odotei, indicated that the Cyber Security Policy and Strategy was being tweaked slightly so it can be implemented. He assured that the Policy will be implemented to ensure a safer cyber experience in Ghana.

In delivering the Keynote Address on behalf of the Minister of National Security, the Director of Communications at the Ministry of National Security, Kwabena Adu-Boahene, assured that stakeholders will be engaged in the implementation of the Policy.

"We shall be using a multi-stakeholder approach to ensure a successful implementation of the National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy," Kwabena Adu-Boahene said.

The Forum also featured presentations about the cyber security threat landscape in the country following a policy brief developed with the support of e-Crime Bureau with funding support from UK-based Global Partners Digital.

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