Professor Kwadwo Adinkrah-Appiah, the Vice-Chancellor of the Sunyani Technical University (STU), on Monday inaugurated a cyber-security and forensic laboratory to enhance the delivery engineering skills and education at the university.
The Royal Academy of Engineering (RAENG) with counter funding from the AED Cyber-security Limited, and the Institute of Cyber-Security and Information Assurance (CYBERGhana) funded the establishment of the laboratory.
Prof Adinkrah-Appiah said the University of Cape Coast and the Bolgatanga Polytechnic were beneficiaries of similar laboratories constructed at a total cost of 50,000 Euros.
Speaking at a short ceremony held at the STU campus in Sunyani, the Vice-Chancellor highlighted Ghana’s Integrated ICT for Accelerated Development (ICT4AD) policy, which he said reflected the nation’s commitment to transforming Ghana into an information-rich and knowledge-based society.
This will provide an opportunity for the general public to fully participate in the information age and enjoy the socio-cultural and economic benefits of the emerging information revolution.
The objective of the establishment of the cyber-security and forensic laboratory, Prof Adinkrah-Appiah explained was to provide training to people, especially the youth, from industry, security services, banking sector and entire corporate Ghana to be able to apply appropriate software, technology, knowledge and skills.
This would also build or support computerised based businesses and protect them from cybercrime threats such as cybercrime and fraud, he said.
He said organisations such as security services and banks would benefit tremendously from local and offshore software development and maintenance, computer hardware, system assembling, repair and maintenance skills.
It would also capture new emerging computer services such as cyber investigation and forensic, IT audit and assurance, cyber-security engineering, security operations, forensic accounting and adobe training.
Prof Adinkrah-Appiah observed that the issue of cyber-crime, including identity theft, were on the increase in the country in recent times, and stressed the government’s determination to bring it under control.
However, the ICT industry in Ghana remained largely challenged with underdevelopment, especially in software development and repairs, software application, troubleshooting, cyber-security, application of artificial intelligence which fell short of acceptable international standards.
The Vice-Chancellor expressed appreciation to the funding organisations for the support, saying the laboratory would equip students with the requisite theoretical and practical skills, critical thinking and entrepreneurial skills in the fields of cyber-security and forensic technologies, data science and artificial intelligence.
Mr David Dayor, Assistant project Manager, Security Engineering, CyberGhana, a Non-profit organisation, indicated “several universities are now knocking our doors but unfortunately only a few of them will get this opportunity due to limited resources.”
“We, therefore, entreated all beneficiaries to work harder to implement measures to sustain this project towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he added.
Dr Jones Lewis Arthur, a Senior Lecturer and Dean of Faculty of Applied Science and Technology of the STU noted the nation lost millions of dollars annually to cyber-related criminal activities, noting the country lost 6.8 million dollars through fraud and $2.7 million to intrusion and stealing in 2019.
Cyber-crime, he added, formed 47 per cent of the 192 cases reported in the country last year, and expressed gratitude to the funding partners for their contribution towards helping to arrest cyber-crime and fraud in the country.