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General News of Tuesday, 4 April 2017


Government pledges to fight cybercrime

The Ministers for Communication and the National Security, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful and Albert Kan-Dapaah, have pledged government’s support in the fight against cybercrime at an opening session of a Training of Trainers course at the Judicial Training Institute in Accra on Monday, 3rd April, 2017.

The week-long course on Cybercrime and Electronic Evidence for judges and prosecutors is being held at the Judicial Training Institute (JTI) in Accra from the 3rd to 7th April, 2017 and is organised by the Council of Europe with the support of the National Communications Authority (NCA).

It forms part of the Global Action on Cybercrime Extended (GLACY+) project. The main purpose of the training is to establish a group of trainers who will be able to instruct their peers in the introductory skills and knowledge required to fulfill their respective roles and functions in case of cybercrime and electronic evidence.

The participants at the week-long Training of Trainers Course in Accra

Joe Anokye, Ag. Director General of the NCA and National Coordinator for the GLACY+ Ghana National Team, in his welcome address at the opening ceremony, called for cooperation among stakeholders with regards to fighting cybercrime. He informed participants that he was delighted that as the National Coordinator for the Ghana GLACY+ National Team, the next steps were being taken with this training of trainers course.

In his remarks, Mr. Matteo Lucchetti, a Project Manager at the Council of Europe called on Ghana to act as a Regional Hub for cybercrime training within Anglophone West Africa to promote the adoption of international standards in the neighbouring countries. Mr. Lucchetti said the Council of Europe strongly believes that Ghana represents a best practice in this region on matters related to cybercrime and cyber-enabled crimes.

The Head of the European Union of Ghana, Ambassador William Hanna, who was also present at the opening ceremony of the workshop applauded Ghana on its accession to the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime which aims at harmonising national laws on e-crime. He stated that with Ghana’s eagerness to combat cybercrime, the whole region will benefit as Ghana plays a leading role in the region. He also spoke on the Anti-Corruption project the EU is working on with the Government of Ghana on the rule of law, accountability and anti-corruption, stressing that there were available funds to build capacity in that regard.

Justice Dennis Dominic Adjei, Justice of the Appeal Court, on behalf of the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana also admitted that as technology becomes sophisticated, the more sophisticated crimes are. He therefore advised the judiciary to take the course serious as he expects the Judiciary and other law enforcement agencies to always be ahead of offenders.

Justice Adjei said “when we talk of cybercrime, the focus is on criminal cases but it goes beyond that…it can go to the length of land crime, child abuse, etc.…sources of digital evidence may not be easy. It is important for the Judiciary to be abreast with the rules of engagement as offenders have a means of being ahead or advance than law enforcement agencies.”

The National Security Minister, Kan Dapaah mentioned that even though fairly new in Ghana, Cybercrime is among the top four security threats in the country. He applauded Mr. Lucchetti’s remarks on the possibility of Ghana becoming the hub for Regional training and capacity building within Anglophone West Africa.

Minister for Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

Giving the Keynote Address, Minister for Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful acknowledged that emerging innovations in technology have presented a lot of challenges which need to be addressed. She urged stakeholders in the industry to work together in combating this menace.

She unveiled government plans of setting up a National Cyber Security Council and a National Cyber Security Centre that will work the private sector to fight against cybercrime. She also advised that Ghana should be abreast with the skills and knowledge gap in the industry with regards to fighting cybercrime and addressing outstanding skills gap.

The Minister urged the Judiciary to determine ways of accepting electronic evidence as more and more evidence is increasingly becoming available due to the rapid evolution of technology.

The training programme has participants drawn from the Judicial Service, NCA, National Security, Police Service, BNI the Attorneys General Department, Economic and Organised Crimes Office, Narcotics Control Board, Ministry of Communication and the Criminal Investigative Department of the Ghana Police Service.