Thursday, February 22, 2024

Facebook accused of running deceptive digital literacy initiatives in Africa

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

Four organizations operating in Africa and focused on the digital rights of children are accusing tech-giant Facebook of running deceptive digital literacy initiatives in Africa.

The organizations have written a petition to Facebook seeking it to revise its digital literacy programs for children in Africa.

The groups are Child Online Africa, Like a Palm Tree Foundation (Project Open Eyes), C-Sema and World Vision International.

In the petition cited by Africa Feeds, these four organizations said “we are surprised that Facebook is churning out figures suggesting its reach in terms of Digital Literacy initiatives in Africa.

We are pained to suspect that this may be benign attempt by the company to deprive African children their full rights to safety, protection, participation, information, and digital literacy, among other basic human rights.”

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According to the petition what Facebook “is describing as digital literacy in Africa for children and young people is nothing close to what is available to the same category of persons in other parts of the world.

Even though the situation may not be perfect, not a third of those digital/online rights and services available in the developed world are made available to the African Child.”

The Petition ended with some demands from the organizations to Facebook.

It said “What is fair, just and equitable under the present circumstances is for Facebook Inc. to urgently and seriously consider the following suggestions:

  1. Facebook Africa should rollout a standardized Digital Literacy programme across Africa for all African Children.
  2. Facebook Inc. should consider developing resources specifically curated in the various African Languages for African children.
  3. Facebook Inc. should consider listing eligible African Charities on Facebook Fundraiser charity list, and enable fundraising campaigns targeted at supporting charities in Africa, not in the developed world.
  4. Facebook Inc. should consider opening up the stimulus package initiative to cover eligible African countries for local businesses in Africa to access support.


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