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Ghana: Govt to Licence Cyber Security Companies Soon-Communications Minister

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Ursula Owusu Ekuful1

Ghana’s Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has said cyber security companies and professionals in the country will soon be licenced.

According to her, Section 49 of the cybersecurity Act 2020 introduced the mandatory licensing of cybersecurity service providers.

The Minister said this in Accra yesterday during the cyber security forum as part of the National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

The forum which was on the theme “Ghana’s Cyber security Act, 2020; Its Implications and the Role of Stakeholders” was aimed at introducing professionals and the companies in the cyber security sector to the Cyber security Act, 2020 (Act 1038).

The Cyber security Act, 2020 (Act 1038) which is meant to regulate the cyber security industry in Ghana was passed on November 06, 2020 and was assented to by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on December 29, 2020.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said going forward cyber security organisations would be licenced and accredited.

He also said professionals in the field would be certified and licenced as pertained in Law, Accounting and other professions and charged the Cyber Security Authority to work towards the certification, accreditation and licensing of cyber security institutions and professionals.

“This is to ensure that there is sanity within the industry in terms of capabilities and acceptable ways of conducting such sensitive services in the country. This and other related provisions on licensing of cybersecurity service providers are detailed in sections 49 to 56 of the Cybersecurity Act, 2020,” she added.

The Minister said one key problem that had been prevalent prior to the introduction of Act 1038, was the absence of a standardisation for cybersecurity products and services.

She said the Act, per Section 59, provided that the Cyber Security Authority developed, established, and adopted standards necessary for the overall development of cybersecurity in the country.

The Minister stressed that section 59 further enjoined the Authority to enforce the adoption of cybersecurity standards and monitor compliance of public and private entities.

That, she said, would ensure that there was a minimum standard by which all cybersecurity activities conformed to, prevent the introduction and use of untested solutions which would in turn strengthen the cybersecurity resilience across all sectors.

“What this means for us is that businesses including designated CII owners will have access to certified professionals and service providers who meet the requirement for the provision of such services.

She said demand for cyber security professionals were growing locally and globally, saying that the New York Times, had reported that an estimated 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs would be available in 2021 but would be unfilled due to the inadequacy of cyber security professionals.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful observed that the demand for cybersecurity workers would continue to be high and urged the youth to take advantage of that and offer cyber security courses.

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