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Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice-President

Govt sets up cyber security secretariat

DR MAHAMUDU Bawumia, the Vice-President, has said that the government has set up an Inter-Ministerial Advisory Committee and a National Cyber Security Secretariat as Ghana begins the implementation of a National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy.

He explained that the two bodies had been tasked to advise, devise and oversee a robust defence of Ghana’s cyber security assets, especially in the light of the Akufo-Addo government’s digitisation agenda as part of plans to formalise the economy.

The Vice-President said at the ceremony for opening the 2017 edition of Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence Innovation Week in Accra that the exponential growth of technologies in the country comes with associated security concerns.

“In view of this impending threat, our government has set up an Inter-Ministerial Advisory Committee and a National Cyber Security Secretariat as we begin the implementation of our National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy.

“We are determined to take the necessary steps to ensure the enactment and enforcement of Cyber Security Laws in order to strengthen the local industry and attract foreign investments. We will also ensure that global standards and practices are adhered to in the deployment of these technologies,” Dr Bawumia added.

The theme for the Innovation Week was ‘Exponential Technologies and Innovations: A Key Enabler for Accelerated Economic Development’, and brings together technology service providers, students, and tech innovators for interactive sessions and knowledge sharing.

Tthe Vice President gave the assurance that cyber security had been high on the government’s agenda in the wake of several high profile data breaches across the world and that with a Digitisation agenda, the Ghana government is determined to leave no stone unturned to protect the data of her citizens.

Dr Bawumia explained that implementation of the Akufo-Addo government’s Information Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) policy “is one that will see to the realization of our vision to transform this nation into an information-rich knowledge-based economy through the development, deployment and exploitation of ICTs within the economy and society”.

He added that the protection of such data was crucial for its acceptance by local players in the industry and helps attract foreign partners.

He also said technical work had meanwhile been completed on the interoperability of the financial system and the full implementation is expected to begin in January, adding another plank to Government’s plan to formalise the Ghanaian economy.

Explaining the rationale behind the drive for interoperability, the Vice-President said the government needed to formalise the economy, and to do so in a hurry, they had moved to bring in place the digital driver’s licence, digital vehicle registration, digital online registration of businesses at the Registrar General’s Department, paperless port and also interoperability that they introduce soon.

He said “Financial inclusion is very key to the economy. We have to make sure everybody practically has a bank account; this is how we are going to change the economy. Everyone has to have a bank account. So many people, close to 70% of our population, do not have a bank account; that has to change but for that to happen the technology must be available for it to happen.”

He pointed out that the technical work had been completed on the interoperability of the financial system and by January it would go live.

“We will launch interoperability so that whether you are using a mobile phone or a traditional bank account you can all communicate and send money across,” he stated.

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