Information Communication Technology has fostered the development of several economies across the world. Ghana has the ability to speed up her economic development by competing for a market share in today’s e-business which includes about $500 billion global outsourcing market, currently dominated by India and China. Ghana is ranked number one in Africa and 9th in the world in implementing business reforms . She is also the 15th most competitive outsourcing destination . The paradox of this promising competitive position of Ghana is also her high ranking in one of society’s most recent canker of cyber-crime, placing 2nd in Africa and 7th in the world’s most notable internet fraud countries .
The Internet Safety, Security and Privacy (ISSP) convention is being implemented by Global Platform Foundation (GPF)—a start-up non-profit organisation in Ghana—with support from Microsoft Anglophone West-Africa. It is a two day event to be held from Thursday 4th—Friday 5th November 2010. GPF is an all volunteer network dedicated to helping non-profits, foundations and other philanthropic entities as well as corporation's and other private individuals and donors capture, use, and share information in ways that will amplify the impact of their philanthropic practices.
At GPF, we believe the long journey to discover and understand the power and potential of technology has only just begun. The use of technology to achieve social impact, whether positive or negative, will only increase in the coming years. Today’s social and environmental, as well as economic problems increasingly cross conventional issue and geographic boundaries, and making systemic progress on these complex problems will require us to connect and coordinate our efforts across traditional borders, sectors and organisations. No one individual or an organisation—not even the largest of governments, corporations, or foundations—will be able to move the needle on many of these problems on their own. Achieving a meaningful change will often require working with a network mindset.
The ISSP convention is a platform for engaging and bringing together multiple stakeholders into highlighting the effects of cyber-crime, as well as, developing a mitigating strategy that would be implemented hereafter, having garnered support and commitment from all involved.
In implementing the ISSP, GPF is adopting a traditional approach towards research: a scan of the literature, interviews with thought leaders, a convening, etc. to develop a baseline understanding of the operations, networks, behavioural patterns, and more clearly define our area of interest—that is cyber-crime. These findings and proposed solutions will be the focus of the activities on event day one.
GPF is embracing three basic rules in the formation of partnerships that will be involved in the implementation of the ISSP: to have a promise, a tool, and a bargain. “The promise is the basic ‘why’ for anyone to join or contribute to the initiative. The tool helps with the ‘how’—how will the difficulties of coordination be overcome, or at least be held to manageable levels? And the bargain sets the rules of the road: if you are interested in the promise and adopt the tools, what can you expect and what will be expected of you? This will be the crux of the prevailing issues of the second day’s event.
The ISSP itself is more like an event that has already happened. There has been lots of dialogue and efforts are being made on finding and implementing solutions to stall and halt this social and economic problem. The question now is how these solutions move from the periphery to the mainstream—from novel experiments to common place ways of getting things done. What does it take to adopt and spread a new mindset? In this case, finding and sustaining a workable widespread and supported solution.