By Yaw Kyei
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has assured the public of the government's commitment to put the necessary security measures in place to deal with emerging trends of cyber-attacks and digital payment fraud.
According to the President, the government's cyber warfare would be relentless to sustain public confidence in the use of technology and digital platforms for financial transactions and other activities.
Speaking at the Society Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) Conference in Accra yesterday, President Akufo-Addo observed that just as technology offered opportunities to grow the country's economy, there were criminals who were bent on exploiting it for their selfish interests.
The SWIFT African Regional Conference brought together about 500 financial service representatives from across the industry, including financial institutions, financial market infrastructures, corporations and technology partners.
Under the theme 'Enabling the digital economy,' the participants, from almost 50 countries, are discussing issues such as the drivers of change including emerging technologies, increasing regulatory pressure and new competitors at the two-day conference.
They will also touch on how the financial industry is delivering change to customers by harnessing new technologies and developing alternative strategies as well as how financial institutions are managing risk in the increasingly digitised world.
President Akufo-Addo said throughout the world, cyber-attacks had become sophisticated and stressed the need for countries to come together to deal with emerging trends or risk the erosion of confidence in the financial payment systems.
He said Ghana had rectified the African Union on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection also known as Malabo Convention as part of global efforts to fight cybercrime.
He indicated that the government had established the National Cyber Security Centre to oversee and coordinate the national cyber security programme and added that through the centre, the state had developed the computer emergency response team ecosystem and instituted cyber security awareness programme among other initiatives.
The President enumerated a number of policies and programmes his administration had introduced to create a digitised economy and indicated that with the continuous reforms in the country's payment systems, Ghana would have a strong competitive edge in the region for financial innovation and access to credit.
He said for instance, mobile money penetration in Ghana was the second in Africa, with mobile money transactions amounting to GH¢213 billion in 2018, up from GH¢78.8 billion in 2016.
President Akufo-Addo said Ghana had made some modest gains by setting the mode for a digital economy to improve the wellbeing of Ghanaians and added that the government was rolling out a national identity system which required every citizen to have a digital property address.
He noted that every landed property was being assigned a unique identifier or an address to ensure efficient delivery of services for economic development and indicated that the national biometric identity cards were being linked to application systems and data bases such as social security, driver's licence, among others.
The Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Ernest Addison, said BoG was collaborating with stakeholders, including telecommunication companies, to digitise the financial sector.
He said digital innovation was creating opportunities for Africa to grow its economy, create jobs, and transform lives.