The Ghana Chamber of Telecommunication is calling on the Cybersecurity Authority to take legal action against some 420 individuals who were recently apprehended for their alleged involvement in loan app fraud.
In order to address this issue, the chamber is advocating for a form of community service for those who are found guilty of this crime.
According to the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunication, it is crucial to enhance the cyber capabilities of the nation’s population.
The chamber has identified the adult demographic as one of the most vulnerable targets for exploitation by internet fraudsters. Factors such as illiteracy and a lack of knowledge in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) pose significant challenges in the fight against cybercrime.
Regarding the recent arrests of the 420 suspects involved in loan fraud, the Chamber of Telecommunication strongly supports their prosecution as a means of deterring others from engaging in similar criminal activities. The Chief Executive Officer of the chamber, Kenneth Ashigbey, suggests that if convicted, the suspects could be involved in community service that involves teaching ICT skills to individuals who are not familiar with technology.
Following an engagement session with Junior High School students in Agona Swedru on the topic of coding, Kenneth Ashigbey indicated that it is important that children are taught ICT.
“It is important that children are taught ICT. This will bridge the technological gap. ICT, like any tool, has its positives and negatives in the era of artificial intelligence. It is important that we move away from just being consumers of technology and start developing our own solutions. For instance, we have started the ‘Coding Caravan’ where we teach school children at that early age about coding. For example, in a community where we don’t have a lot of doctors, how do we ensure that we use technology to solve that challenge?” said Ken Ashigbey, Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Telecommunication.
The Chief Executive Officer also urged the Cyber Security Authority to, as a matter of urgency, ensure that the over 420 loan fraudsters who were arrested are dealt with, adding that a community service can be a preferred punishment for these fraudsters.
“We are happy that the Cyber Security Authority has arrested over 400 loan fraudsters, and we want to tell them to be firm in ensuring that justice is served in terms of prosecuting. When it comes to cyber fraud, it doesn’t matter who you are, anyone can be involved. It is unfortunate that most of the people who fall prey to these fraudsters are the elderly who have little knowledge of ICT. These fraudsters take advantage of these vulnerable people and defraud them. The only way to bridge that gap is to engage in things like coding to create awareness. These fraudsters must be taken through the criminal justice system. Once that is done, it will serve as a deterrent to others. We also need to use them as examples to know that this is not the way to go. It would be great if we had community service for them to teach those who have little knowledge about ICT,” said Ken Ashigbey.
Additionally, the Institute for ICT Professionals, in collaboration with the chamber, highlights the importance of introducing coding to Junior High School students. They acknowledge that ICT has both positive and negative aspects, but it is essential to embrace the positive aspects.
According to the Executive Director for the Institute of ICT Professionals, David Gowu, the training will leverage the ICT knowledge of the children while making them aware of using ICT positively.
“There is a new dimension here in Agona West where we even have children from the school of the deaf taking part in the coding caravan event. With the coding caravan, school children are able to develop new talents and skills that will benefit them in the near future,” said David Gowu, Executive Director for the Institute of ICT Professionals.
During the event, the Member of Parliament for Gomoa West, Cynthia Morrison, and the District Chief Executive for the area, Onumah Coleman, expressed their appreciation for the initiative and emphasized how it would benefit the children of Agona West.
For school children within the Agona enclave who took part in the event, they enumerated the importance of the project, adding that it will benefit them in the end.
“I am happy to have taken part in the project. I have learnt how to develop and create new opportunities using coding,” said Jennifer Ambolley, a student.