A Pan-African group, Child Online Africa has demanded for reforms across Africa to make the internet safer for children.
The group is leading a major campaign on the continent on the occasion of the Safer Internet Day. The day is marked globally on February 5 to raise awareness about making the internet safe for users.
The 2019 edition of the Safer Internet Day “#SID2019” is on the theme ‘Together for a better internet’.
Child Online Africa in a statement said it is encouraging “all Africans to collaborate with their communities and support each other in the awareness creation to develop in our children the critical skills of RESPECT, RESPONSIBILITY, REASONING AND RESILIENCE (the 4Rs) required for navigating the online world.”
The group said recent news of the abduction of some young girls in Ghana through engagement online shows that the internet is still not safe for young people.
Child Online Africa said “From the various accounts, it has become clear some of the abductions may have been technologically facilitated.
This calls for a proactive and dedicated action to promote self-awareness and vigilance particularly among young people to become conscious of their own safety and security.”
It wants the Safer Internet Day (SID) campaign to be used to “initiate conversation with children and young people regarding their responsible use of the technology space.”
“The Internet, and for that matter, the online world is very vast and borderless, and difficult to control. Therefore our only best option is education and awareness creation among our children and young people, to empower them to access the online world in a responsible manner,” the group added.
Child Online Africa is leading a campaign with the support of it’s partners to reach “over three hundred (300) communities and about two hundred (200) districts across Ghana.
The campaign which involves educating young people about the internet will “reach more than thirty thousand (30,000) children and young people across Ghana.”