Safer Internet Day 2017; Everyone has a part to play

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By Aanuoluwa Omotosho

Right now in over 120 countries, Safer Internet Day 2017 is being celebrated with the theme ‘be the change: unite for a better internet‘. The major goal of this special day is to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology, especially among children and young people, standing against cyber-bullying, online hate speech and promoting online respect, digital entrepreneurship, empowerment, and positive content online.

In addition, the day offers the opportunity to highlight positive uses of technology and to explore the role we all play in helping to create a better and safer online community. It calls upon young people, parents, careers, teachers, social workers, law enforcement, companies, policymakers, and wider, to join together in helping to create a better internet.

 

Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre, with the support of the European Commission, and national Safer Internet centres across Europe, the celebration sees hundreds of organizations get involved to help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.

 

Facebook plays a major role

According to Africa newsroom,  Facebook is working with  African partners such as: Watoto Watch in Kenya, the International Center for Leadership Development , the Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre in Nigeria, South Africa’s Film and Publication Board, JOXAfrica Association in Senegal, Tech Women Zimbabwe as well as J Initiative and Ghana Internet Safety Foundation from Ghana to Kenya to promote the importance of online safety to students, teachers, parents and policymakers

Facebook is providing financial and marketing support for them to use to raise awareness about online safety. Facebook is also hosting an event in Johannesburg, South Africa and Nairobi, Kenya to promote the importance of online safety to students, teachers, parents and policymakers.

 

What are African partners saying?

Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC)

“The 2017 theme for the Safer Internet Day ‘Be the change: unite for a better internet’ resonates strongly with the Federal Government of Nigeria’s campaign, ‘The change begins with me’,” says Adeyemi Odutola, Communications Officer at Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC). “We are excited to partner with Facebook to host a day of workshops and fun activities for secondary students, where they will learn how to navigate the Internet confidently and safely.”

 

TechWomen Zimbabwe

“As more Zimbabwean women and girls go online to take advantage of the immense opportunities the internet offers, they empower themselves with knowledge, education and connections with others,” says Techwomen Zimbabwe’s Founder, Aretha Mare. “We are determined to break down barriers to the Internet for women and girls so they can maximise the benefits of the Internet – and that includes tackling challenges such as online harassment and bullying.”

 

Senegal (JOXAfrica Association)

“Protecting children on the Internet is a priority for us as we rally with governments NGOs and private companies for a better online community,” says JOXAfrica Senegal’s Assane Diouf. “Together with Facebook, as the world’s biggest online social network, we can create higher awareness of how we can keep children safe online.”

 

Watoto Watch Network: Kenya

“The Internet brings offers great opportunities for Kenya’s youth and children. This year’s Safer Internet Day gives young people the opportunity to voice their views on how to make the internet better,” says Lillian Kariuki, executive director at Watoto Watch Network.

 

JI Initiative from Ghana

“We are passionate advocates for a safe Internet for young people and children, so we are pleased that Facebook embraces its responsibility to keep people safe on its platform,” says Awo Aidam Amenyah, Executive Director at JI Initiative. “We are pleased to work with Facebook to promote positive online experiences for everyone.”

 

Ghana Internet Safety Foundation

“The massive support we’ve seen for this year’s Safer Internet Day is truly inspiring,” says Emmanuel Adinkrah, Co-Founder and CEO of Ghana Internet Safety Foundation. “It is heartening to hear about the ways young people are using technology to take positive action online to empower each other and spread kindness. We want to encourage them to keep building a better internet for all.”

 

Film and Production Board: South Africa

“It is important to have conversations early and often about how inappropriate content on the Internet may affect children,” says Janine Raftopoulos, Manager Communications and Public Education South Africa’s Film & Publications Board (FPB). “Parents, educators, guardians and industry all have a part to play in ensuring that children understand how to stay safe online.”

 

ICLDING: Nigeria

“We’re pleased with our partnership with Facebook for Safer Internet day to raise awareness and have conversations about staying safe online,” says Felix Bidemi Iziomoh, Executive Director at ICLDING. “We are proud to play a role in uniting our community for a better internet.”

 

Senegal (JOXAfrica Association)

“Protecting children on the Internet is a priority for us as we rally with governments NGOs and private companies for a better online community,” says JOXAfrica Senegal’s Assane Diouf. “Together with Facebook, as the world’s biggest online social network, we can create higher awareness of how we can keep children safe online.”

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