Ahead of the presentation of the 2020 budget on November 14, 2019, the Minister of Communications Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has called for a comprehensive statement in the budget about how government intends to fund cyber-security in Ghana.
Latest figures from the Cyber-Crime Unit of the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service has shown that money lost to cyber fraudsters increased from US$35.7 million in 2016 to US$105million in 2018.
Speaking on the dangers of low or no funding for the fight against Cyber-crime, Madame Owusu-Ekuful said she was confident the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta will make provision for the development of the needed infrastructure for Cyber-security in the country.
“In previous budgets, the Finance Minister has made statements about their intentions for cyber-security. In the 2020 budget, I’m looking forward to a more comprehensive statement about how the Central government intends to finance cyber-security. I’m already glad that we have so far been getting concrete commitments from the budgets.”
Ursula Owusu-Ekuful made the comments on the sidelines of the 2019 National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) program, which attracted Ministers of Communication and Information across the sub-region, ambassadors, as well as industry stakeholders.
She also spelled out the risks for Ghana and Africa in the event of a cyber-attack.
“If anything along the scale of what has been happening around the world were to happen here, our entire governance, financial, educational system among others will grind to a halt.”
On his part, the National Cybersecurity advisor Albert Antwi-Boasiako highlighted the need for dedicated funding to deal with the issue of cyber threats.
“Right in our neighborhood Nigeria has introduced a levy on electronic transactions to fund their cybersecurity. Togo has also established a sovereign cybersecurity fund with contribution from telecommunication service operators, based on their annual turnover. I am afraid that if we don’t invest by making dedicated funding available, the very gains that Ghana has made will not be sustainable.”
In a speech read on his behalf by Interior Minister Ambrose Dery, President Akufo-Addo said the passage of the Cyber Security Bill into law will underpin the establishment of the much needed Cybersecurity fund.
The Communications Minister finally stated that Ghana can only continue to show leadership in the fight against cybercrime if dedicated funding is secured.
The 2019 edition of the NCSAM
The 2019 edition of the National Cyber Security Awareness Month (taking place from 1st to 31st October 2019) under the theme “Demonstrating Ghana’s Cybersecurity Readiness” is part of national efforts to build capacity and raise awareness on cybercrimes and the need to improve Ghana’s cybersecurity readiness among children, the general public, corporate Ghana and government agencies.
The month-long program featured a programme of activities including thought leadership sessions, panel discussions, lectures, demonstrations, exhibitions and training sessions.
Ghana lost US$105 million to cyber-crime in 2018 — CID
Available figures from the Cyber-Crime Unit of the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service has shown that money lost to cyber fraudsters increased from US$35.7 million in 2016 to US$69.2 million in 2017, and US$105million in 2018.
Thus, the country lost a whopping US$229.9 million to recorded cybercrime cases between 2016 and August last year, with 60 percent of cases being fraud-related and 40 percent related to monies stolen from banks.