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Africans deserve data protection as fundamental human rights – Deputy Communications Minister



Africans deserve data protection as fundamental human rights – Deputy Communications Minister

Africans deserve data protection as fundamental human rights – Deputy Communications Minister

Deputy Communications Minister, Vincent Sowah Odotei, has indicated that personal data of Africans need to be protected by the constitution just like their fundamental human rights.

Though protection of personal data and privacy of individuals is a global challenge, African countries need to strategize, enact laws that will protect the data of governmental institutions and citizens, he stated.

Speaking at the 1st Africa Region Data Protection and Privacy Conference in Accra, Mr Sowah asserted that, the more data is used daily, the higher the risk of abuse whether intentionally or not.

According to the Minister, Ghana is making strides in protecting the data of its citizens during this era of unprecedented cybercrimes.

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He further said, “President Akufo-Addo is working tirelessly to digitize services in the country, however, he is also calling for rigorous measures to ensure that the valuable data digitization generated is protected.

Mr Sowah also said, “Ghana is collaborating with stakeholders such as the Council of Europe, US Security government Initiative, Commonwealth and other international organizations to implement other initiatives to help curb cybercrime.”

He further stated that the public is being encouraged to know their rights to privacy and the need to protect it whilst data controllers are equally being educated on how to handle the data they generate or collect from the citizens.

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Speaking in the same vein, Minister for planning, John Gyan Baffour also noted that the current environment of collecting and retrieving personal data is fast evolving thus, presenting us with the challenge of effective management of data in the bid to prevent unauthorized, careless and ignorant use of personal data.

Mr Baffour said, “Data today is the bedrock of our rapidly changing world providing our citizens with opportunities and indeed with challenges as well. Data protection issues are also human right issues”.

“How then do we protect fundamental human rights as enshrined in our various national constitutions while at the same time guaranteeing one’s right to information” he quizzed.

Stating some challenges Africa faces when it comes to data management and protection, Mr Gyan Baffour stated inadequate expertise as a top challenge. Out of 54 countries in the Africa Region, only 17 have passed the data protection law. This, he averred that wasn’t encouraging and needs to change.

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“The Africa region has been slow in enacting relevant data protection laws, and establishment of supervisory authorities”.

He, however, mentioned that Ghana has passed Data Protection Act 2012, Act 843 to regulate the protection of personal data. Also, Data protection commission has been implemented to enforce the law and guarantee data safety.


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University of Ghana Test their own Version of VAR



University of Ghana, Legon, has raised the bar for media coverage in Ghana as they put to test their own version of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) cameras system in a match between their male football team and UMAT.

The experiment is the first time Ghana is using the VAR technology in a football match where Five cameras plus a drone were used to cover the match.

Images of the experimental technology could be mistaken for a FIFA VAR Team as the students demonstrated high level of intelligence. This is the first time any West African country has reported the introduction of VAR.

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This experiment has put Ghana above other African countries in terms of sports coverage and will be a huge step for the Ghana Football Association to accept for the technology to have experimented in the Ghana Premier League or the Division One League.

Meanwhile, this local VAR system is set to be used in the next Ghana Premier League game between Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko schedule for Sunday, January 27.

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US, Ghana Armed Forces partner to combat cybersecurity



US, Ghana Armed Forces partner to combat cybersecurity

The Government of Ghana and the United States’ African Command (AFRICOM) have teamed up to organise a symposium that is geared towards developing strategies and deepening collaborative efforts to fight cyber threats facing Ghana and other countries in the sub-region.

The symposium, which is the 14th edition to be organised by the AFRICOM and 3rd to be hosted by Ghana, is being attended by participants from 48 countries as well as regional organisations like African Union and Economic Community of West African States.

Addressing the gathering at the opening ceremony of the event expected to take place in Accra from Sunday 18th August to Friday 23rd August, Albert Kan-Dapaah, Minister for National Security bemoaned the challenges Ghana’s Armed Forces like that of other countries in the sub-region, have had collaborating and developing systems to address cyber threats.

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“The challenges attached with interoperability among our militaries persist in spite of threats of cyber security which transcend national borders with propensity to affect international peace and security. I, therefore, urge you to take the opportunity to foster greater collaboration, build capacity for both human and system interoperability as you strategise on confronting insecurity in our region” the National Security Minister averred.

The National Security Minister stressed the relevance of such a collaborative exercise between the Ghana Armed Forces and the US AFRICOM, particularly, at a time when the government considers technology and digitisation an essential component of its transformational agenda.

He, therefore, directed that the various militaries gathered, particularly, Ghana’s should exchange ideas with their colleagues so as to fashion out solutions and compelling systems that will enhance and boost government’s digitisation efforts while creating a safe medium for seamless collaboration among stakeholders.

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“It will interest you all to know that the government of Ghana has embarked on a ‘Digital Ghana Agenda’ that seeks to digitise government services, leading to the digitisation of the Ghanaian economy,” he disclosed.

He further advanced, “The impact of such programmes have had on national development cannot be overemphasised. Stakeholders in the technology sector have been assured of Government’s commitment to the digitisation agenda, and encouraged to partner Government as she pushes for a digitally-aware population.”

The summit dubbed, Africa Endeavor, is an annual senior leader communications symposium designed to help develop multinational communications practices for peacekeeping, disaster response and counterterrorism missions mandated by the African Union and the United Nations.

In his speech, US Charge d’Affaires, Chritopher Lamora observed that the upsurge in technological developments have exposed several countries to the threats of cyber crimes and criminals.

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“Every technological advancement in history has presented new opportunities and challenges and the internet is no exception. Cyber-enabled threats have proliferated as our systems have become more and more interconnected. These threats range from state-sponsored attempts to target major critical infrastructure to the use of ransomware by cybercriminals to extort a single individual or hold hostage sensitive information” Ambassador Lamora asserted.

The Charge d’Affaires suggested that, “National Cyber Strategies must be tailored to each nation’s own realities, aspirations and goals. But in developing those strategies, all governments benefit seeking input from the private sector and civil society. This includes educating citizens and industry representatives about their own important roles in protecting cyber systems”


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Introduce smart phones for teaching in SHS – Prof. Koomson appeals to government



Introduce smart phones for teaching in SHS - Prof. Koomson appeals to government

The Principal of the Seventh-Day Adventist College of Education (SDACOE) at Asokore in the Eastern Region, Professor William Koomson, has suggested the use of smartphones for teaching and learning in senior high schools (SHSs).

He has also proposed to the government to allow SDACOE to create a centre for teaching using smartphone technology.

Professor Koomson made the suggestion at the 11th congregation of SDACOE during which 403 students passed out with a Diploma in Basic Education.

Ten of the students obtained first class, 111 had second class upper, 178 had second class lower, 82 had third class while 22 had passes.

Explaining the rationale for the suggestion, Prof. Koomson said there were quality educational resources in print, audio, video and other forms and smartphones could be easily used to access such materials.

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Breakfast Meeting

“Regular assessment will be possible via online platforms and students with lots of assignments will be given time to submit each assignment which can be done via their smartphones using WhatsApp, Twitter and others,” Prof. Koomson added.

He, therefore, called for the training of teachers and lecturers in smartphone technology to be able to handle the situation.

Licensure Examination

With regard to the licensing of Ghanaian teachers, he said, their certificates would be recognised in any part of the world and praised the government for that initiative.

He called on the government to improve on resourcing colleges of education to make them stronger to partner with established public universities for the proposed three-year period.

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The Executive Secretary of the National Board for Professional and Technician Examinations (NABTEX), Mrs Sheila Naa-Boamah, who represented the Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Professor Kwasi Yankah, advised the newly qualified teachers to care, inspire and nurture the young ones to be placed under their care and that they must exhibit the highest standard and ideals of the teaching profession.

She was hopeful that with their Adventist training background, they would live up to expectation.

Focus on goals

In his address, the Chief Executive of the Svaniker Group of Companies, Mr Thomas Svaniker, urged the graduands to be time-conscious and focus on their goals to succeed in life.

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For his part, Dr Sam Awuku, an educational consultant and old student of the college, urged the new teachers to be creative and help mould the character of pupils entrusted in their care.

On behalf of the graduands, Mr Benjamin Apraku Mensah expressed appreciation to the college and parents for their support.

Mr Svaniker later donated a vehicle (van) to the college and also pledged to provide them with a generator.


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