The Executive Director of the Economic and Organised Crime Office(EOCO), COP Maame Yaa Tiwaah Addo-Danquah has expressed that the Ghanaian term for illegal practices in the cyber space(Sakawa) has placed Ghana as major cybercrime hub across the globe.
Mrs. Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, speaking on the Theme; “Building a Sustainable Cyber crime-free Soceity for Economic Development”, a public address lecture organised by the Intitute of Research, Innovation, and Development(IRID) at the Kumasi Technical University, stated that Ghana was blacklisted by major e-commerce operators and online merchants including Amazon, PayPal, and other reputable online outlets stopping Ghanaian residents from having online purchases with their credit cards because of fraudulent activities known in the Ghanaian local parlance as “sakawa”
She explained that,online scams constitute the highest reported and most pressing cyber threats that manifest it self in various ways and forms, including gold dealers scam, estate fraud, blackmail, mobile money fraud, child pornography, hacking, and Sakawa.
“Ghana through this cybercrime gained a global recognition as a major cybercrime hub,thereby,contributing to the global cybercrime vocabulary with the word “sakawa” which refers to cybercrime committed by Ghanaian perpetrators.”
“In April 2020, the world Bank ranked Ghana as 9th out of 11th Countries in the sub-Saharan Africa that are vulnerable to cyber security. And the 3rd on the global list after Mauritius and Tanzania respectively with a score of 86.69% an improvement from previous ratings of 32.6% and 43.7% respectively in 2017 and 2018. According to (Afua Nyarko’s September 2021 report),” She stated.
She added that Ghana’s threat landscape has over the years seen a rise or high impersonation of high profile personalities in the country whose email could be compromised for criminals to request for money, recruitment and appointment, or anything through which most people have lost huge sums of money.
Mrs. Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, therefore urge Ghanaians and Africans to be protective on the internet space and digital platforms. Since Africa is said to be the fastest growing region in the world for internet penetration and for use of moblie app based financial services, hence making it attractive for cybercriminals.
Director of the Institute of Research, Innovation, and Development(IRID), at the Kumasi Technical University, Dr. Smart Sarpong, expressed that the programme was mainly to educate the people on the current albatross in the internet space. He also reechoed on why people should refrain from WathsApp messages, email alerts, and phone calls that one is not conversant With.