Ar Alfred Tuah-Yeboah, the Deputy Attorney-General, says Africa’s digital future should be shaped by collaboration and cooperation as opposed to competition and mutual suspicion between regulators and technology players in combating transnational crime.
He said the training offered to Ghana’s prosecutors, investigators and law enforcement officers had gone a long way in increasing the capacity of these agencies to successfully prosecute transnational crimes.
Mr Tuah-Yeboah made this known at the opening of a two-day Attorney General Alliance -Africa (AGA-Africa) Annual Conference on the theme: “Exploring new Frontiers for Cybersecurity and Africa’s Digital Future.”
The Conference tapped into the AGA’s convening power across the continent, where it organised over 50 pieces of training annually with key stakeholders in government on various transnational crimes, including cybercrimes and brought together African Attorneys General and ICT leaders on the continent, among others.
During the event, these key subject matter experts will explore new ways of harnessing the digital economy in Africa, while addressing emerging issues around the industry’s regulation and threats presented to it by transnational crimes like cybercrime.
AGA-Africa had partnered with Microsoft as well as other leading global technology companies are heavily invested in Africa’s digital landscape spanning: cloud services, ecommerce, social media, and other digital services.
The Deputy AG said AGA-Africa had held advocacy meetings and joint workshops with the Ghana Police Service, Foods and Drugs Authority, Ghana Bar Association, and the Judicial Training Institute.
Some of the training topics included cybercrimes and counterfeit drugs, among other transnational crimes.
The pieces of training offered to the country’s prosecutors, investigators and law enforcement officers have gone a long way in increasing the capacity of our systems to successfully prosecute transnational crimes.
He said in line with the theme that Ghana was making significant strides in the fight against cybercrime and other transnational crimes.
“We have enacted a number of laws like the Electronic Transactions Act (“ETA”), 2008, Data Protection Act (“DPA”), 2012, Economic and Organised Crime Act, 2010 (“EOCA”) and redrafted the 2019 National Cyber Security Policy. In 2020 the president also assented into law the Cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038),” he said.
He said Ghana had also created the Cyber Crime Unit, a specialized unit at the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service with its primary role as detection and investigation of crimes where digital device(s), network(s), other telecommunication device(s) or the internet space is/are the target(s), or the means are used.
Mr Tuah-Yeboah said at the regional and continental level, “we have ratified relevant cybercrime and cybersecurity international conventions and treaties ion Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection also known as the Malabo convention, ECOWAS’ Regional Cybersecurity Cybercrime Strategy, and the Regional Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Policy.
”All these are aimed at strengthening Ghana’s international response in fighting cybercrime and improve our cybersecurity,” he added.
He said these and more interventions have improved Ghana’s ranking on the Global Cybersecurity Index of the International Telecommunication Union.
The Deputy AG said all these efforts would not amount to much if “we do not deepen collaboration with partners in the private and public sectors both in Ghana, across the continent and the world.
Ms Karen White, the Executive Director, AGA said the Alliance was one of the dynamic partnerships in the international collaboration and since 2016, they had trained African legal officers and prosecutors in the investigation and prosecution of transnational crimes like human trafficking and cybercrime, among others
She said the past two years had been challenging to everyone, while the pandemic imposed on all a momentary pause because of reduced movement around the world, transnational crime continued and in some cases, it increased.
She said the digital future carries with it increased vulnerabilities as more government services migrate online.
She said while Africa was still among the least affected continents by such threats, cyberattacks on critical infrastructure on the continent were increasingly becoming frequent.