An official release of the 2020 Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) report of the ITU on 29 June 2021 placed Ghana at the 3rd position behind Mauritius and Tanzania, with a score of 86.69%.

The Ag. Director-General of the Cybersecurity Authority (CSA), Dr. Albert Antwi-Boasiako has urged law students to study and understand why the Cyber Security Act 2020 (Act 1038) was passed, to enable them to prepare adequately for cyber-related cases which are steadily rising. “As you are becoming lawyers, you will find this legal instrument very useful”, he said.

Dr. Antwi-Boasiako said this while delivering a lecture at the 62nd Academic Law Week of the Ghana School of Law, GIMPA campus, in Accra on Wednesday, 4th April 2022. The lecture was on the theme: Ghana’s Journey to Digitalisation; An overview of the Cyber Security Act 2020 (Act 1038).

He told the students that the Act gives the right framework to deal with cybersecurity incidents, secure critical information infrastructure and has provisions for the protection of children online. He said it was thus important for them, as law students to appreciate and get more knowledge on the Act for the benefit of society and for their career developments.

Dr. Albert Antwi-Boasiako spoke about the government’s digitalisation projects, such as, the Mobile Money Interoperability (MMI) Project (a network-centric project focused on digitalisation), the implementation of a universal QR code (GhQR) Payment system that accommodates both bank accounts and Mobile Wallets, the e-Passports System and the e-Justice System. Other digital interventions that he spoke about are the Biometric National Identity Card and some private digitalization initiatives, such as Fintech and e-banking.

Dr. Antwi-Boasiako, further urged the students to be concerned about how to respond to societal issues using technology, in what is called Artificial Intelligence, and said, “While I want you to be grounded in traditional systems of the law, I also urge you to be innovative, debate the impact of technology on law practice and apply it effectively.”

Speaking about the Cybersecurity Act, he said, Ghana has existing legislation like the Data Protection and Electronic Transaction Acts, which addressed issues related to data privacy and cybercrimes respectively, the two Acts however did not address issues related to the development of cybersecurity; the Cybersecurity Act 2020 (Act 1038) thus seeks to fill the gap.

He added that international cooperation was very essential to the fight against cybercrime because of the borderless nature of such crimes. He thus advised the participants to learn about international legal frameworks especially the Convention on Cybercrime also known as the Budapest Convention and the African Union Convention on Cyber Security & Personal Data Protection also known as the Malabo convention, both of which Ghana has ratified.