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Business News of Sunday, 11 August 2019

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Cybersecurity policy: MTN Ghana calls for broader consultations with stakeholders

Eli Hini4 General Manager, Mobile Financial Services, MTN Ghana, Eli Hini

General Manager of Mobile Financial Services, MTN Ghana, Eli Hini has called for a further and broader consultation with major stakeholders before a policy on cybersecurity is adopted.

As the government continues its digitization agenda, there have been appeals for the drafting of a new and comprehensive policy to deal with cyber issues.

Commenting on the issue last year, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia indicated that the government is in the process of concluding the review of new cybersecurity policy and strategy.

“A National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy have been drafted and I am told the review of the policy and the strategy shall be completed soon”.

However, Eli Hini has reiterated the importance of continued education, coordination and collaboration between regulatory bodies and stakeholders in building a robust and exhaustive policy.

“…The next one is also to deepen the discussion around cybersecurity policy. It has become very important now. Government has been talking about it. As we go digital, it’s an area that we need to put our minds to ensure that across all the industries that get impacted there’s sufficient understanding and sufficient investment. We can ensure some standardization so that we do not have different standards apply to operations”, he said.

Elli Hene, who was speaking at a forum organized by MTN as part of the 10th-anniversary celebration of the Mobile Money service noted that the Mobile Financial Service area would witness significant growth should the Bank of Ghana come out with business-friendly regulations.

He thus urged the BoG to institute regulations and policies that will facilitate growth in that sector.

"Relevant taxes are being paid by customers who use the service just like any means of payment, therefore, implementing additional taxes on Mobile Financial Services will have a negative ripple effect in the service and other related industry," he said.

Philip Abradu-Otoo, the Head of Research Department, Bank of Ghana highlighted the role of mobile money in the country’s digitization drive.

He said that data available to the BoG indicate that mobile money accounts in the country have increased to about 12.7 million in the first quarter of 2019 compared the 345,000 in 2012.