Dr. Albert Antwi-Boasiako

Dr. Albert Antwi-Boasiako, the Acting Director-General of the Cyber Security Authority (CSA) has called for a strong collaboration between Government and universities to tackle the increasing level of threat being witnessed in the cyberspace.

Dr. Antwi-Boasiako made these remarks when he delivered aPublic Lecture on the topic: “Cybersecurity Imperatives for National Development and the Role of the Academic Community”. The lecture, which was held on April 13, 2022 was organized by the College of Basic and Applied Sciences (CBAS) and chaired by the Provost of the College, Prof. Boateng Onwona-Agyeman.

Introducing the topic, Dr. Antwi-Boasiako noted that the study of mankind has been remarkable throughout the various stages of man’s evolution from society 1.0 - the hunting period, to society 2.0 - the aquarium epic, through 3.0 – the industrial period, and society 4.0 - the fourth industrial revolution. Mankind hence faces an existential threat as we continue to adapt and develop technology. According to Dr. Antwi-Boasiako, dealing with cybersecurity threat is actually protecting and guaranteeing the survival of humans. The work of cybersecurity is, therefore, intrinsically linked to protecting our societies, whichever form it takes in view of the transformation.

He mentioned that the history of the internet started in the US in the defense environment with a strong collaboration with academia. The need for information sharing and international policies and issues of war underpinned the decision of defense experts to collaborate with academia. He therefore called for an engagement with Government, universities, businesses and industries to advance the course of promoting cyber infrastructure, and cybersecurity.

Dr. Antwi-Boasiako pointed out that in January 2021, there were about 4.66 billion internet users across the globe. He stated that development and the 4th industrial revolution is essentially an integration of a number of technological advances building on previously built Artificial Intelligence, robotics, internet of things, genetic engineering and quantum computing. The 4th industrial revolution is influencing much of the development in data transfer and analysis, among others, and the infusion of physical integration with the digital and biological spheres. He said further investigations will inform each sector of our societies on how these connections are coming up, and the risk they pose to mankind if no actions are taken to secure such a progressive future.

He argued that the six (6) imperatives of academia in terms of regulation, workforce development, culture, international cooperation, research and development, and sustainable financing; are collectively required to guarantee a sustained digital transformation for the existentiality of mankind as we digitalize.  

He indicated that, a report published by on 31st March, 2022 indicated that as of January 2022, the internet penetration rate in Ghana reached 53%, up from 50% in the same month in 2021. Ghana is ranked the 44th country with respect to global internet adoption; ranked 3rd globally in terms of the daily times spent on social media, and the 15th country using social media for work. According to International Financial Corporation and Google, Africa's internet economy is expected to contribute about US$180 billion in 2025, and rise to more than US$700 billion by 2050. The global risk report of 2022 indicates that cybersecurity threats are growing. It noted that malware and ransomware attacks are increasing by 358% and 435% respectively in 2022 and these are outpacing societies’ ability to effectively prevent or respond to them.

Dr. Antwi-Boasiako said the volume of attacks indicates that societies are not prepared in skills development.  Consequently, cybercrimes reduced Ghana’s GDP by more than 10% at a cost of an estimated $4.12 billion in 2021. The world economy ranked cyberattacks as the number two top concern for businesses. The adoption of technology has made the cyberspace the center of gravity for criminal offenses. Cybersecurity is, therefore, necessary to reduce the risks of cyberattacks and to protect institutions and society from cyber harm.

Concluding his lecture, Dr. Antwi-Boasiako reiterated that in a country where we are hailing digitalization, it is imperative for academia to develop certain products that could be used as a revenue stream to contribute to cybersecurity development. Although the government has a role as an enabler for funding, academia should look at the problem of financing cybersecurity as an opportunity especially when cybersecurity products and solutions are actually in high demand.

Professor Boateng Onwona-Agyeman, Provost of CBAS

The Provost of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, in his initial remarks, introduced Dr. Antwi-Boasiako as the acting Director-General of the cyber security authority, he served as the Head of National Cybersecurity Centre leading Ghana’s institutionalization of cybersecurity under the policy direction of the Ministry of Communications and Digitalization, which is responsible for cybersecurity matters in government.

In his closing remarks, Professor Boateng Onwona-Agyeman congratulated Dr Albert Antwi-Boasiako for rendering such insightful and thought-provoking views and suggestions, and showing adeptness to the topic. He hoped that this would serve as an introduction to extensive discussion on the topic and bring about the much-needed change to protect the public against cyberattacks.

Presentation of Citation of Honour to Dr. Antwi-Boasiako

In attendance were Mr. Emmanuel Baidoo, College Secretary of CBAS; Prof. Kwabena Doku-Amponsah, representing the Dean of School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Prof. Augustine Ocloo, Dean of School of Biological Sciences; Prof. Irene Egyir, Dean of School of Agriculture; faculty, staff and students from the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, and other members of the University of Ghana, as well as the public. The Question and Answer segment was vibrant, with questions and contributions from participants.  

Presentation of Cybersecurity Act 1038 to CBAS

A cross-section of guests seated in the Cedi Conference Centre

Group photograph with Deans and Heads of Department of CBAS

Group photograph with Staff of CSA

 Group photograph with Administrators of CBAS