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Ghana News

National Cybersecurity Challenge to Test Ghanaian Senior High School Students

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The Cyber Security Authority (CSA) has launched the second edition of the National Cybersecurity Challenge in Ghana. The competition is aimed at enhancing awareness and promoting cybersecurity among senior high school (SHS) students across the country.

The challenge will involve 50 SHSs in the 16 regions of Ghana, selected through a criterion designed by the Ghana Education Service (GES). The competition will comprise regional, zonal, and the final contest to determine the cyber champions among the contestants. The final contest will be held in October as part of the National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) 2023.

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The CSA has collaborated with stakeholders on the challenge to create awareness of child online safety. The country has been divided into four zones, northern, middle, eastern and southern, and the winners of each zone will compete at the grand final in October.

The contestants will undergo training on the child online protection (COP) provisions in the Cybersecurity Act, 2020, digital footprint, social engineering, and open-source intelligence, among others, before the competition.

Internet penetration in Ghana has increased from 2.31 million in 2012 to 17 million users in 2022, representing 53% of the population. Ghana was ranked 3rd globally in the use of social media, indicating the reliance of the population on the internet for education, lifestyle, businesses, and entertainment. Children are active users of the internet, leaving them vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

The CSA Director in charge of Child Online Protection, Afua Brown-Eyeson, noted that equipping children with cybersecurity skills at an early age is required to keep them safe online and prevent them from causing harm to their peers. The government has shown enormous commitment to the online safety of young people by passing the Cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038), which criminalizes various online cases of abuse against children. The government has also developed the National Child Online Protection Framework, which will be submitted to the Cabinet for approval soon.

The first-ever cybersecurity competition for SHSs in Ghana was successfully organized by the CSA among six schools selected from five regions in Accra on October 17, 2022. The Presbyterian Boys Senior High School emerged winners of the 2022 competition. This year’s contest has been extended to include 50 schools, and a broadcast journalist of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), Kafui Dey, was announced as an ambassador for the competition.

For the most part, the National Cybersecurity Challenge is an excellent initiative that aims to create cybersecurity awareness among young Ghanaians, empowering them to stay safe online and pursue careers in cybersecurity.

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