The Cyber Security Authority (CSA) has emphasised the need for collaborative efforts to enhance internet safety in Ghana and across Africa.
In a press statement issued by its Public Affairs Unit, the CSA underscored the necessity for stakeholder engagement to educate the public on cybersecurity threats prevalent on the internet.
The statement called for a collective approach involving parents, teachers, civil society organizations, the media, and the private sector to foster safe and positive utilization of digital technology, particularly among children and young people.
This is in line with the commemoration of the Africa Safer Internet Day (ASID) under the theme “Empowering Minds, Protecting Rights: Creating a Safer Digital Africa.”
Leading the ASID celebration in collaboration with UNICEF Ghana, the Ghana Education Service (GES) and other stakeholders, the CSA plans sensitization events in schools, outreach programmes on child digital safety for religious institutions, media engagements, and social media campaigns.
“The ASID aims to advance online safety initiatives and best practices by raising awareness of Child Online Safety in Africa. The celebration reflects the continent’s commitment to ensuring a secure digital future, empowering young people, especially children, for a safer digital Africa,” the statement indicated.
Highlighting the urgency of the matter, the CSA cited a 2022 UNICEF Ghana report indicating over 13,000 images and videos of child sexual abuse accessed or uploaded from Ghana in 2020.
Additionally, Interpol’s Global Crime Trends Report 2022 identifies Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (OCSEA) among the top ten perceived crime trends with high threats
The CSA warned of the potential loss of Ghana’s future generation to the hidden dangers of the online world.
The statement said the celebration in Ghana aims to raise awareness of child online provisions in the Cybersecurity Act 2020 (Act 1038), current cybersecurity trends affecting children, safety tips, and acceptable online behaviours.
It noted that the Government of Ghana, through the CSA, had implemented measures to ensure a safer internet, including the passage of the Cybersecurity Act 2020, the National Child Online Protection Framework, and the establishment of Cybersecurity/Cybercrime Incidents Reporting Points of Contacts.
It added that the CSA remains committed to organizing sensitization programmes, including the National Cybersecurity Challenge for Senior High Schools, to educate students on cyber hygiene practices and prepare them for careers in cybersecurity.