Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has launched the 2018 National Cybersecurity Awareness Programme with a call for concerted, coordinated efforts to fight the ills of cyber crime and prevent the growing menace.

Citing various reports showing the growing, negative impact of cyber crimes worldwide, Vice President Bawumia expressed concern about how security breaches have gained notoriety with the capacity to endanger a global economy increasingly linked through digitalization, and pledged government’s determination to stay ahead of the curve.

Ghana, the Vice President noted, is part of the global village that is pushing for connectivity in an increasingly digital world, and it is imperative that everyone becomes security conscious.

Vice President Bawumia issued the clarion call when he launched the month-long awareness programme dubbed “A Safer Digital Ghana” in Accra on Monday 1st October, 2018.

The awareness month is to bring to the attention of the general public, the already critical importance of security within the cyber ecosystem of our country, as well as the profound impact of dynamic technologies in our lives.

The Safer Digital Ghana campaign, focusing on four key thematic areas – Children, the Public, Business and the Government – has been developed to respond to the increasing spate of cybercrimes and cyber security breaches which could potentially undermine the gains from Ghana’s digitalization agenda, according to officials of the Ministry of Communication.

“As we become more reliant on the digital economy, we must have a collective responsibility to create awareness as an imperative for ensuring that our digital world is secure and mutually beneficial to all users,” Vice President Bawumia indicated.

“It should be obvious to many of us that due to the way business is conducted and the linkages between countries through the cyber space, like terrorism, cyber risk has become one of the most dominant issues on the international agenda.

“As we become more and closely connected to each other, together we become highly vulnerable to cyber-attacks. When there are insufficient authentication methods or a lack of consumer security knowledge, then each user is only as safe or vulnerable as the other,” he emphasised.

Government, Vice President Bawumia indicated, is working with partners both home and abroad to ensure enhanced cyber security for Ghana.

“The Ministry of Communications has assessed the challenges facing Ghana with respect to cyber security and charted a roadmap that would ensure protection for government, business, the public and most importantly our children who have become a target for all forms of abuse and exploitation online.

“For government, cybersecurity is a public good. The benefits are shared. It is therefore an obligation that the Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Communications takes seriously. Government will make the necessary efforts to support national cyber security development efforts,” he assured.

In brief remarks, the Minister for Communications, Hon Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, outlined a number of activities lined up for the awareness campaign, including regional launches, cyber security and crime awareness campaigns in selected schools in all 10 regions, and a dialogue with all former Ministers of Communication for a frank exchange of ideas on cyber security.