By Agnes Ansah
A forum that would gather stakeholders under one roof to discuss how to regulate the use of the internet in Ghana to promote the right of citizens has been launched.
Dubbed the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), it also seeks to ensure how Ghanaians can have better internet service with emerging technologies and infrastructures.
The forum is scheduled to take place at the Kofi Annan ICT Center in Accra, from July 10 to11.
Speaking at the launch, which took place in Accra last Thursday, Nana Kofi Asafu-Aidoo, Ghana IGF Coordinator and a representative from the Ministry of Communication, indicated that “internet is not static, it’s always evolving, so we need to get ethics and security measures that would govern it.
“Internet is a community thing, and as a nation, we can’t just watch the developers come up with laws that may affect us negatively. We need to look at our use of the internet, our culture and ethics and come up with policies that affect how the internet should be used within our context,” he added.
Mr Asafu-Aidoo, however, admitted that Ghana is making headway when it comes to internet security, because the Cyber Security Center is doing a great job of improving cyber security in the country.
But he indicated that the forum would have way for all users of internet and providers as well to air their views concerning the use of the internet, and come up with better ways of regulating it.
The internet is not static, it’s always evolving, so what are the ethics that govern it, and what are the security measures that we have to put in place?
Madam Felicia Anthonio, a representative of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), advocates of freedom and rights of the media in Ghana, also stated that it was important to remind stakeholders of the rights of people, irrespective of the fact that some security measures have to be put in place regarding the use of the internet.
“If it’s not done, policy makers can come up with good policies, but may end up infringing on the rights of the citizens’ use of the internet,” she said.
She said, many a time, issues of cyber crimes pop up, and the first reaction is regulation, but that might curtail the rights of the people.
She said that Ghana can be said to be one of the most internet-friendly country on the globe, but there have been some few instances where threats of an internet shutdown were the subject of discussions, hence, more conversation has to be done to safeguard people’s right to the use of the internet.