The African Union (AU) – Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE), a community comprising cyber security experts from Africa has held its first meeting in Accra.

The three-day meeting, attended by 65 cyber security experts from 31 African countries seeks to form a frontier of continental cyber experts groups that will support cyber security capacity building on the continent.

The Deputy Minister in Charge of Communications and Digitalization, Ama Pomaa Boateng in an address said Cybercrime is a transborder issue and needs an interoperable system, to better cooperate and respond to the issues through incident reporting, information sharing, investigations, and prosecutions.

She said there is therefore the need for other African countries to ratify the African Union Convention on Cyber Security & Personal Data Protection also known as the Malabo Convention, to make the convention operable.

“Ghana has over the past few years put in place several interventions as part of efforts to ensure a secure and resilient digital ecosystem.”

Adding that, “Ghana stands ready to support, collaborate and most importantly learn from other African states as we work together to secure Africa’s digital ecosystem.”

The Executive Director of the Cyber Security Authority, Dr. Albert Antwi Boasiako in an address said Ghana joined the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise(GFCE) last year to promote and strengthen capacity building through international collaboration and ultimately to improve our national cyber response and resilience.

“Hosting this event, therefore, means a lot to us, as it forms part of our national strategy to work with our peers on the continent to improve our collective capacity to mitigate cybercrimes and other cyber security challenges,” he said.

Adding that, the Africa Cyber Security Experts Community meeting will meet its expectations by identifying the capacity-building needs of the continent.

“I believe experts gathered here will also come out with innovative ways of deploying capacity building initiatives, taking into consideration our specific developmental needs and the cyber context of our respective countries.”

The head of Economic Integration AUDA-NEPAD, Towela Nyirenda-Jere, in an address said the importance of cyber-capacity and cybersecurity in this digital world and the digital age is self-evident.

“While the increased use of the Internet and ICTs creates new opportunities for innovation and development, it also opens up opportunities for criminals to commit acts of cybercrime on a large scale.”