Stakeholder Consultation Workshop on Implementation of Ghana’s National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy Held
A stakeholders’ consultation has been held to discuss the implementation of Ghana’s National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy (NCSPS). The workshop which was designed to build knowledge on cybersecurity, allowed agencies involved in fighting cybercrime to share cutting-edge knowledge on their cyber security initiative as well as status of their activities and efforts towards implementing the NCSPS. It also provided a platform for stakeholders to discuss the implementations of the Ghana National Cybersecurity policy and strategy that was approved by cabinet in November 2016.
It was organised under the auspices of the US Department of State as part of the Security Governance Initiative which has cyber security as one of the key focus areas.
Mr. Joe Anokye the Acting Director General of the NCA who also doubles as the team lead for Focus Area 3 of the Security Governance Initiative (SGI) in his welcome address applauded the US government’s efforts to assist Ghana to improve Ghana’s security sector governance and capacity to tackle key security challenges in addressing three jointly identified focus areas which are the Maritime Security, Border Management and Integration and Cyber Security and Cyber Crime.
He expressed hope that the end goal of the Focus Area 3 will be to ensure that the Government of Ghana has effective systems, legal framework and capacity to ensure cybersecurity due diligence in preventing, detecting and prosecuting cybercrime.
Mr. Joe Anokye, Acting DG of NCA and Team Leader of SGI Focus Area 3 giving his Welcome Address.
Mr. Anokye said he was delighted with the diverse group of participants drawn together by shared dedication to combat cybercrime. He said the national team was expectant that the workshop would equip participants with knowledge of best practices, identify gaps and weaknesses in the strategy and make recommendations on how Ghana can best implement the cybersecurity policy and strategy to the benefit of all stakeholders.
The US Department of State was represented by Ms. Cari McCahren-Shah who reaffirmed the US Government’s commitment to support developing countries to fight cyber related crimes. She said that they were happy to have a not for profit organisation, MITRE Corporation, to support them in this endeavour.
In his address, the Hon. Deputy Minister for Communications, Mr. Vincent Sowah Odotei called for a multi stakeholder approach to harness national and international best practices in implementing the approved policy and strategy. The Hon. Minister charged participants at the workshop to commit to collaboration and dedication in order to ensure a successful implementation of the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy.
Mr. Vincent Sowah Odotei, Hon. Deputy Minister for Communications addressing participants.
He reiterated government’s efforts to roll out the National Identification Project which is key to synchronizing efforts within the government mechanism as well as avoid duplicating costs. In addition he stated that citizens will be able to use their ID for multiple and various services including passport acquisition, driving Licence acquisitions, social security registration, voters ID acquisition, births and deaths certificates among others when the project is effectively rolled out.
There were presentations from various agencies on their approach to managing cyber related crimes, their difficulties and their collaboration with both private and public institutions.
The participating organisations included Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, CERT-GH, Bureau of National Investigations, US Department of state, Financial Intelligence Centre, the Justice and Judicial Services and the Ministry of Gender.
Others were the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney General’s Department, MITRE Corporation, National Security Council Secretariat,Computer Emergency Response Team Ghana.
In the discussions, Johanna Vazzana of MITRE praised Ghana’s strategic goals, saying that they were well-thought out and ambitious, she however cautioned participants that these goals could not be achieved without collaboration and a connection of the objectives to the business goals.
Ms. Vazzana urged participating agencies to also think about analysing and managing risks of all Critical National Information Infrastructure (CNII) and IT systems instead of focusing on the vulnerabilities.
A cross-section of the participants at the Workshop
Ghana’s National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy (NCSPS) was developed to address one of the four thematic gaps identified during the review of the Accelerated Development (ICT4AD) policy. The NCSPS policy has nine policy pillars and includes effective governance, legal framework, technology framework, response readiness and international cooperation.
Deputy Minister for Communications in a group picture with Mr. Joe Anokye and Representatives from SGI / MITRE, USA.
Five special initiatives have been included in the first five-year strategic plan. These initiatives include establishment of institutional frameworks, creating awareness, ensuring coordination of cyber security initiatives and enforcement of cyber standards in Ghana. When fully implemented, Ghana will have a solid cyber security framework base to address its cyber needs.
Issued by the National Communications Authority,
No. 6 Airport City, Accra.
Tel: (0)30 – 2776621/2771701 or 050-145-1522/3.
Date – Thursday, 20th April, 2017
The National Communications Authority, (NCA), was established by an Act of Parliament, Act 524 in December 1996, which has been repealed and replaced by the National Communications Authority Act, 2008 (Act 769). The Authority is the statutory body mandated to license and to regulate electronic communication activities and services in the country.