By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
The Global Action on Cybercrime extended (GLACY+) has advocated for a shared Reporting System to combat the menace of cybercrime in Ghana.
Mr. Joe Anokye, Ghana’s GLACY+ National Coordinator and the Director General of National Communications Authority (NCA) said with Ghana’s total mobile data subscriptions at 20,064,110 and with a penetration rate of 70.90% at the end of January, 2017, Cybercrime cases are expected to escalate.
According to him, as new technologies and strategies are being developed daily to advance network security, these programmes sometimes have the effect of preventing Law Enforcement and Justice Agencies from securing the much needed electronic evidence.
Mr. Anokye called for the development of a shared system which would enable all relevant institutions upload cases and share information to avoid duplication of efforts and ensure data and statistics integrity.
The NCA Director General said this when he addressed participants at a three-day International Workshop on Criminal Justice Statistics on Cybercrime and Electronic Evidence in Accra.
The workshop was organized by the GLACY+ Council of Europe and as part of the GLACY+ project the workshop was expected to interrogate the current systems available in each member country with regards to reporting, collating and interpreting statistics on Cybercrime and Electronic Evidence and build capacity to develop measures in this regard.
The event brought together several local and international law enforcement and justice professionals involved in collecting, collating and interpreting statistics for offences of cybercrime from countries including Mauritius, Philippines, Tonga, Sri Lanka and Morocco.
On her part, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the Minister for Communications pointed out that cybercrime poses challenges to the technological development of Ghana and called for concerted efforts of all users of the cyberspace.
She mentioned that part of Government’s strategic plans is to combat e-crime and these include the establishment of a National Cyber Security Council and a Cyber security Centre to oversee Cyber Security Incident Reporting and the establishment of a Forensic Laboratory in place to support investigations and prosecutions.
Madam Maria Luisa Trancoso, the Head of Governance of the EU Delegation in Ghana stated that government has a duty to protect citizens from crime and breach of privacy. She acknowledged that one of the biggest challenges in fighting cybercrime is under-reporting of cybercrime and a lack of statistics and data for analysis.
Cabinet in November 2016 approved Ghana’s accession to the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime which aims at harmonizing national laws on e-crime, improving investigative techniques and increasing cooperation among nations to foster the protection of countries against cybercrime.
Ghana is one of the few African countries and presumably, the first in West Africa that has signed the treaty and has keenly taken steps to ratify the treaty pursuant to cabinet’s decision.