Cyber Crime Law In The Offing

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

A NEW legislation aimed at fighting crimes within the cyber ecosystem in Ghana is being prepared by the President Nana Akufo-Addo’s administration.

Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful made this known on the occasion of the Second National Girls in Information Communication Technology (ICT) Day on Monday, May 27, 2019, in Takoradi.

According to her, the legislation is to protect and sanitize the cyber space against criminal acts and abuses.

The Minister emphasized that the legislation is also aimed at protecting children against cyber crime.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said “Government is introducing a Cyber security Bill with provisions on Child Online Protection (COP), to ensure that offenders of revenge pornography( that is acts of distributing sexually explicit images or videos without the consent of parties) will be prosecuted.”

She stressed that “the National Cyber Security Centre is currently reviewing the framework on COP and this includes a comprehensive implementation roadmap aimed at protecting our children online.”

She added that the ministry would in the coming weeks also launch a cyber crime/security incident reporting point of contacts to provide channels including online portals, hotlines, SMS line and a dedicated apps, adding that the Ghana Police Service together with telecommunication industry and the Internet Watch Foundation, would also ensure the proper handling of crime committed online.

The ICT Day held under the theme ‘Expanding horizons, changing attitudes,” was attended by 650 Junior High School (JHS) girls from nine districts of the Western Region.

The event was coordinated by the Ministry of Communications in collaboration with Ghana Investment Fund For Electronic Communications (GIFEC), with supports from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the Western Regional Coordinating Council (WRCC), provided two-week ICT training and mentorship for the participants.

Sixty students who performed well during the event, received lap top computers donated by telecom giant MTN Ghana while the first 10 best also got internet modems with free one year data bundle.

The Minister spoke about the critical role ICT could play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) by 2030 and also eradicating poverty, but , noted that this could not be achieved if the non-inclusion of women and girls in the sector was not addressed.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful explained that one way to reduce the disparities in the ICT world was to reduce the misconceptions including the thoughts that ICT requires mathematics skills and that people in the industry did not have social life, adding “don’t let anyone put you down and say you are a girl, you can do it if you stay focused and worked hard.”

Deputy Minister for Education, Gifty Twum Ampofo, noted that ICT played an important role in the life of society including industrialisation, agriculture and even international travels.

She expressed the belief that Africa needed to overcome the challenges in ICT especially in the 21st century.

BY Melvin Tarlue

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