Post AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum Collaborations Start

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Coming out of the recent AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum held in September 2022, The Elizabeth Sloane Institute of Technology (ESIT) and the Cyber Security Authority (CSA) of the Republic of Ghana have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to build the capacity of Ghanaian Cybersecurity Professionals under a grant program.

The partnership will bring together globally recognized and Industry standard Cyber Security Certification programs to support the Authority’s efforts in promoting the development of cybersecurity in the country.

The MoU was signed in Accra by the Director-General of the CSA, Dr. Albert Antwi-Boasiako, and the President and Board Member of ESIT, Ms. Melanie Wynter, a Jamaican.

The strategic leadership and the policy direction of the Hon. Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, and the immense support of Hon. Herbert Krapa, the then Deputy Minister for Trade who facilitated the engagement as part of his trade mission to the Caribbean, and The Honorable Mia Amor Mottley, S.C., M.P for facilitating such an important event to the expansion of Caribbean African exchange. All the Ministers are highly commended in this endeavor.

Dr. Antwi-Boasiako, in his opening remarks, stated that the partnership is an important element among initiatives of the Authority to develop cybersecurity talents and workforce as part of the Accreditation of the Cybersecurity Professionals (CPs).

According to him, in an era of regulations, organizations that need to comply with industry regulations and security standards will be required to engage the services of certified Professionals to safeguard IT systems and infrastructures of organizations.

He further noted that the signing of the MoU was significant as it heralds the CSA’s regulatory regime of accrediting Cybersecurity Professionals (CPs). He expressed his optimism that the cybersecurity industry in Ghana, and Professionals alike, can take advantage of such benefits and align with the Authority’s regulatory activities, hoping for smooth collaboration and pledged support to implement the collaboration.

On her part, the President of the ESIT, Ms. Wynter, underscored that there is a huge deficit of cybersecurity professionals in Africa, noting that this challenge is due to several uncertified practitioners. She consequently offered assurance that the programs offered by the Institute as part of the agreement will ensure that more persons are certified in Ghana and beyond.

The Elizabeth Sloane Institute of Technology (ESIT) is an Online Higher Education provider, offering online self-paced master’s degrees and Cybersecurity Professional certificates in collaboration with accredited Universities and reputable Professional Qualification Authorities such as CompTIA and (ISC)². ESIT is the learning division of Elizabeth Sloane LLC, a global knowledge consulting firm.

The Cyber Security Authority (CSA) is the regulator of cybersecurity activities in Ghana, with the mandate to promote the development of cybersecurity and provide for related matters.

Subsequently, the CSA is implementing a number of regulatory activities including the Protection of Critical Information Infrastructures and Accreditation of Sectoral Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs). The Authority has, since March 1, 2023, commenced the regulatory activity of Licensing Cybersecurity Service Providers (CSPs), Accrediting Cybersecurity Establishments (CEs), and Cybersecurity Professionals (CPs).

Following the commencement of this licensing and accreditation exercise, after September 30, 2023, it will be illegal to offer cybersecurity services without a license, pursuant to Section 49 (1) of the Cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038). The need to develop the industry, the requirements to adopt best practices and standards, and national security considerations are driving such regulatory activities.

The Board of Elizabeth Sloane approved subsidiaries amounting to $14.6 million in October 2022 to upskill and certify ICT professionals across Africa and the Caribbean over the next two years. The program which was launched in Ghana serves as the launchpad for this Cyber Security Grant Program.

The program will provide a grant to cover more than 60 per cent of the training and certification costs associated with selected professional certification programs, including the following.

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP)

Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)

CompTIA Security+

CompTIA PenTest+

Advanced Security Practitioner (CompTIA CASP+)

CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CompTIA CYSA+)

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