Cooperation amongst states crucial for cybercrime prosecutions

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CyberX Africa 2021 Conference
CyberX Africa 2021 Conference

Mr Emmanuel Nii Ashie Kotey, Justice of the Supreme Court , says the transnational nature of cybercrimes creates a difficulty in attaining electronic evidence for law enforcement.

He has therefore called on African States to cooperate with other regions to achieve success in cybercrime prosecutions.

The Supreme Court Judge made the comments at the opening ceremony of the CyberX Africa 2021 Conference held in Accra.

The four-day event, being organized by Centre for Strategic and Defence Studies, Africa (CSDS) in Accra aims at enhancing the capacity of security professionals, lawyers, judges, forensic and cybercrime investigators within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region to investigative and prosecute e-crimes.

It is being held in collaboration with the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), the Security Governance Initiative (SGI) Secretariat of the Ministry of National Security, the Association of Private Investigators, Ghana and Lex Mundus and Cencla.

The Supreme Court judge said information and communication technologies offered one of the greatest opportunities for Africa to address many of the Continent’s critical developmental challenges.

He said capacity building through international cybercrime conferences were useful in building capacity for incident response and for participants to gain a better understanding on how to counter cyber threats.

Lieutenant Colonel Ababio Serebour (Rtd) Chief Director, Ministry of National Security, said significant progress could be achieved in the combat of cybercrimes when like-minded organisations were willing to collaborate in calling out and punishing perpetrators of such crimes.

He lauded CSDS for putting the event together, adding that, it would strengthen efforts in the fight against cybercrimes.

Lt. Col. Serebour (Rtd) noted that the SGI had since February 2016 supported efforts at cyber risk assessment, the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy, amongst other interventions, aimed at creating a more secure and safer cyberspace.

Science Cyberx Conference
Cyberx Conference
Dr Angela M. Lamptey, Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), CSDS Africa, said a 2019 internet threat assessment report of the CSDS and INTERPOL’s Africa Cyber threat assessment published in 2021 clearly highlighted cybercrime as a fundamental threat on the entire landscape.

Therefore, she said the best way to counter the surge in cybercrime related activities was for the enhancement the capacity and preparedness of Africa’s forensic information security professionals, investigators, legal practitioners, and intelligence and defence actors.

Dr Lamptey said the conference would advance deterrence within the cyber space in Ghana, the sub-region and Africa.

She said it would also reduce the global cyber skills shortage and build a platform to develop home grown cyber security solutions to combat cyber threats in Africa.

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