The Government of Ghana and the United States’ African Command (AFRICOM) have teamed up to organise a symposium that is geared towards developing strategies and deepening collaborative efforts to fight cyber threats facing Ghana and other countries in the sub-region.
The symposium, which is the 14th edition to be organised by the AFRICOM and 3rd to be hosted by Ghana, is being attended by participants from 48 countries as well as regional organisations like African Union and Economic Community of West African States.
Addressing the gathering at the opening ceremony of the event expected to take place in Accra from Sunday 18th August to Friday 23rd August, Albert Kan-Dapaah, Minister for National Security bemoaned the challenges Ghana’s Armed Forces like that of other countries in the sub-region, have had collaborating and developing systems to address cyber threats.
“The challenges attached with interoperability among our militaries persist in spite of threats of cyber security which transcend national borders with propensity to affect international peace and security. I, therefore, urge you to take the opportunity to foster greater collaboration, build capacity for both human and system interoperability as you strategise on confronting insecurity in our region” the National Security Minister averred.
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The National Security Minister stressed the relevance of such a collaborative exercise between the Ghana Armed Forces and the US AFRICOM, particularly, at a time when the government considers technology and digitisation an essential component of its transformational agenda.
He, therefore, directed that the various militaries gathered, particularly, Ghana’s should exchange ideas with their colleagues so as to fashion out solutions and compelling systems that will enhance and boost government’s digitisation efforts while creating a safe medium for seamless collaboration among stakeholders.
“It will interest you all to know that the government of Ghana has embarked on a ‘Digital Ghana Agenda’ that seeks to digitise government services, leading to the digitisation of the Ghanaian economy,” he disclosed.
He further advanced, “The impact of such programmes have had on national development cannot be overemphasised. Stakeholders in the technology sector have been assured of Government’s commitment to the digitisation agenda, and encouraged to partner Government as she pushes for a digitally-aware population.”
The summit dubbed, Africa Endeavor, is an annual senior leader communications symposium designed to help develop multinational communications practices for peacekeeping, disaster response and counterterrorism missions mandated by the African Union and the United Nations.
In his speech, US Charge d’Affaires, Chritopher Lamora observed that the upsurge in technological developments have exposed several countries to the threats of cyber crimes and criminals.
“Every technological advancement in history has presented new opportunities and challenges and the internet is no exception. Cyber-enabled threats have proliferated as our systems have become more and more interconnected. These threats range from state-sponsored attempts to target major critical infrastructure to the use of ransomware by cybercriminals to extort a single individual or hold hostage sensitive information” Ambassador Lamora asserted.
The Charge d’Affaires suggested that, “National Cyber Strategies must be tailored to each nation’s own realities, aspirations and goals. But in developing those strategies, all governments benefit seeking input from the private sector and civil society. This includes educating citizens and industry representatives about their own important roles in protecting cyber systems”