Country Director of the World Bank, Henry Kerali has advised that developing countries should collaborate in order to improve cybersecurity and decrease the level of exposure to cyber-attacks.
Addressing the opening session of the climax week of the National cybersecurity awareness month in Accra on Monday, Kerali explained that individual developing countries have limited financial and technical resources to invest in sophisticated cybersecurity protection.
“This is now even more urgent as advanced countries put up strong defenses, cyberattacks will shift to countries with weaker defenses,” said Kerali, adding, “this will require countries to establish cybersecurity capacity.”
Transition from traditional to digital economies remain particularly critical for developing economies, as it enables faster growth, offers innovative products and services, creates jobs and boosts economic competitiveness, thereby reducing poverty and boosting prosperity.
Despite its infancy stage, the positive impact of disruptive technologies in accelerating economic growth has been undermined by the increase of cyber threats and risks at national and global levels.
Loss from Cybercrime
It is estimated that Africa, which has yet to develop a robust digital economy, has lost about US$3.5 billion to cybersecurity attacks over the past few years.
According to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), as at August this year, Ghana had lost US$97 million due to Cybercrime
World Bank’s Efforts
It is for this reason that the World Bank Group has established partnerships with other development partners to support the global advancement of cybersecurity capacity in developing countries, he noted.
To this end, the World Bank is holding a Cybersecurity Clinic for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) this week, with the support of the Governments of Japan, the UK and Israel.
The objective is to raise awareness and build capacity in cybersecurity based on knowledge and expertise from cybersecurity experts. Through this, ECOWAS countries are expected to be able to identify their own individual challenges, priorities and solutions.
By Joshua W. Amlanu