During the 16th annual Safer Internet Day celebrations, a $1million grant was announced by Google to help promote safe Internet use by children and young people in Africa. The grant will support training by civil society organisations and social enterprises that focus on online privacy, trust, and safety.

The grant will prioritise supporting organisations that have online safety efforts targeting children. The Safer Internet Day event was aimed at helping children practice smart tactics for analysing and evaluating information, sharing media with care, protecting and securing private data, and handling cyberbullying. It has been reported that children are more than 30 percent of the population of Internet users and also the fastest-growing online demographic. These facts form the rationale for Google’s launch of its online safety grant and its efforts to expand online safety programmes for children.

Speaking at the Safer Internet Day event in Kenya, the Country Director for Google Kenya, Charles Murito, said, ‘[T]he best answers often come from those closest to the [problem]. We can’t do it alone therefore with help from civil society organisations and non-profit innovators we are launching a pan-African fund to support innovative project ideas, digital literacy and online safety’.

At the same event, the Acting Director-General of the Communication Authority of Kenya, Mercy Wanjau, said, ‘[T]he need for collective efforts by all stakeholders to safeguard our young people online cannot be gainsaid. Such initiatives will go a long way in making the Internet a safer place for our children’.

Source: The Star

Photo source: Neon Tommy

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