Ghana's cybersecurity development ranked third in Africa

An official release of the 2020 Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) report of the ITU on 29 June 2021 placed Ghana at the number 3 position behind Mauritius and Tanzania, with a score of 86.69% on the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Dr. Albert Antwi-BoasiakoNational Cybersecurity Advisor

Since the launch of the GCI in 2015, it has been a trusted reference, measuring countries’ commitment to cybersecurity and raising awareness of its importance. The level of each country’s development or engagement is assessed along the five strategic pillars of the Union’s Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA) i.e., Legal Measures, Technical Measures, Organisational Measures, Capacity Building, and International Cooperation. This is then aggregated into an overall score. The current assessment covers the 2019-2020 period and reflects data collected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ghana’s current score of 86.69% on the metric shows major progress from the previous ratings in 2017 and 2018 of 32.6% and 43.7% respectively. Its 3rd place ranking in Africa is also a major leap from the 11th place attained in the previous rating and projects Ghana among the best in the region and globally. The achievement is proof of the government’s commitment to developing the country’s cyberspace to be secure and resilient for a sustained digital transformation. This commitment is evidenced by the efforts of the government through the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation working with the members of the National Cyber Security Inter-Ministerial Advisory Council (NCSIAC) and the National Cyber Security Technical Working Group (NCSTWG) in the implementation of critical interventions in the country’s cybersecurity ecosystem.

Key among the interventions meriting this rating include the revision of the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy to provide a national direction and implementation plan for Ghana’s cybersecurity development; the passage of the Cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038) to provide a legal basis for its cybersecurity development; the institutionalisation of cybersecurity to foster domestic cooperation and collaboration; and the ratification of relevant cybercrime/cybersecurity international conventions and treaties such as the Convention on Cybercrime also known as the Budapest Convention and African Union Convention on Cyber Security & Personal Data Protection also known as the Malabo conventions ECOWAS’ Regional Cybersecurity Cybercrime Strategy and the Regional Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) Protection Policy to strengthen Ghana’s international response in fighting cybercrime and improve on cybersecurity.

Other key factors contributing to Ghana’s rating include the development of Ghana’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) ecosystem, the country’s persistence in capacity building and awareness creation, notably the institutionalisation of the annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) in October as a result of the launch of the National Cybersecurity Awareness Programme (safer Digital Ghana) Other areas that the country has shown commitment in the fight against cybercrime is the deployment of the Cybercrime/Cybersecurity Incident Reporting Points of Contact (PoC) to enable individuals and organisations report cyber-related incidents with ease and to receive advisories.

The government through the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation working closely with other relevant Ministries, agencies, international partners and private sector stakeholders remain committed in its efforts to ensure that the various digitalisation interventions rolled out are secured. Given this, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is expected to transition into the Cyber Security Authority (CSA) in the coming weeks per Section 2 of the Cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038), to regulate cybersecurity activities in the country and to further lead Ghana’s cybersecurity development.

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