Earlier today – Wednesday, 9th February 2022 in Montreal, on behalf of the Minister for Communications and Digitalisation – Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful (MP), I was privileged to join Ghana’s High Commissioner to Canada – H.E. Anselm Ransford Adzetey Sowah and other Dignitaries to complete Ghana’s official entry onto the Public Key Directory (PKD) of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
The Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and the authority to issue associated digital certificates sits with the National Information Technology Agency (NITA), under the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation (MoCD).
Public Key Certificates will be promoted and applied, to significantly reduce, if not eliminate the existence of inauthentic IDs, digital transactions, etcetera within Ghana’s Digital Ecosystem, domestically and globally. This is an enviable feat achieved by Ghana, ahead of many of its continental peers.
You may recall that the then Ministry of Communications, as part of its agenda to protect transactions and interactions in the country’s Digital Space, established an Authentication and Verification System for online transactions. This system is to ensure the creation and management of digital identities, known as Certificates.
These Certificates are necessary for a wide range of government functions and activities, including the ability to provide citizens with access to electronic government services, issuance of passports and identity cards.
Furthermore, it also serves as a mechanism for ensuring accountability through Digital Signing and Timestamping.
At a ceremony to operationalize Ghana’s National Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) in Accra on Wednesday, 17th July 2019 the Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Hon. Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, stated then that the PKI is coming in as an additional layer of authentication to protect Ghana’s Digital Infrastructure and Electronic Payment Systems.
She said that Operators in the Fintechs, Application and Software developers had long called for the PKI System to give authentication and protection to their products and services.
She stated that the PKI will help with digital financial transactions, the issuance of a digital certificate, electronic signatures of documents and authentication of electronic signatures of documents.
She intimated that it is easy to fake all kinds of things using the same technology, so the PKI is needed for requisite authentication.
The vision of gaining the necessary Authority to issue such Certificates has now been realised.