African activists are pushing for a better and safer usage of the internet across the continent with the hope that it will impact users tremendously.
These activists stressed the need for African governments to roll out measures that prioritize even more importantly children who use the internet.
A virtual forum was held on On Tuesday February 8 as part of series of activities to commemorate the 2022 Africa Safer Internet Day.
The ITU Regional Office and partners have been rallying call for governments to double up efforts in ensuring that Africa is not left behind in building a safer internet.
The African activists are now putting up a movement to help ensure that the internet is a place of opportunities for children and young people where they can create, engage and share positively and freely.
The Secretary General of the African Telecommunications Union, John Omo in his remarks told the forum that the internet has become essential to people’s lives especially children which requires better coordination.
“In today’s world billions of gigabits are used across with every passing minute and this is just but a mirror of how much of our lives rotate around the internet,” Omo said.
He said most of human activities currently are internet enabled and those include “financial transactions, shopping, movement and transportation, connection with our friends, family and entertainment.”
Omo said despite the importance of the cyber space, it comes with its challenges posing threat to its safety, stressing that it is important to tackle those challenges for users to be comfortable in that space.
Serge Valery Zongo from the International Telecommunication Union Africa Regional Office also highlighted the commitment of the ITU to most importantly protect young people who often are vulnerable using the internet.
“ITU is championing the child online protection initiative as a platform to raise awareness on child online safety issues,” Zongo said.
He said the ITU is also working to assist “especially developing countries in developing and implementing road map” that realize the goal of a safer internet for users most importantly children.
The convener of the Africa Safer Internet Day, Awo Aidam Amenyah told the forum that it is important to tackle what she called “reckless driving” that takes place on the internet to protect users.
She said safer internet initiatives are also to explore the opportunities that come with the internet that benefits all.
Other activities lined up for the commemoration of the Africa safer internet day include:
- -Africa Safer Internet Day Art Competition.
- -Community level Focus Group in all 16 Regions in Ghana, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Zambia and Nigeria.
- -Free Digital Citizenship Test for people of all ages.
- -Africa Youth Summit: https://bit.ly/AfricaSaferInternetDayYouthConfab
Starting as an initiative of the EU SafeBorders project in 2004 and taken up by the Insafe network as one of its earliest actions in 2005, the day has grown beyond its traditional geographic zone and is now celebrated in approximately 200 countries and territories worldwide.