Facebook to invest in safer internet, community leaders in Africa

Facebook says it is partnering with more than twenty non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and government agencies, to raise awareness on emerging online issues and helping to explore ways to make the internet safer for all.

The social media giant has also announced the launch of the Facebook Community Leadership Program, a global initiative that invests in people building communities. The platform will commit tens of millions of dollars to the program, including up to $10 million in grants that will go directly to people creating and leading communities.

In addition, Facebook introduced new tools for group administrators on its platform and the expansion of the company’s London-based engineering team that builds technology to help keep people safe on Facebook.

Safer Internet Day is organised by Insafe in February of each year to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially among children and young people across the world.

This year’s theme of “Create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you”, aims to galvanise and encourage stakeholders to play their part in creating a better internet for everyone.

In view of that, Facebook announced that it is launching a series of initiatives, including a specially created family-friendly animation which directs viewers to the parental portal in the Facebook Safety Center. Parents and caregivers can access a variety of information and tips on how to discuss issues of online safety with teens, developed in partnership with safety experts from around the world.

“Every day, millions of people across Africa come to Facebook to talk about their special moments and to stay connected with the people they care about,” Akua Gyekye, Public Policy Manager, Facebook said. “We recognise the important role we play in creating a better and safer online community for all, with this year’s growing partnerships across the continent further demonstrating our ongoing commitment to supporting organisations that raise awareness on these important issues.”

Partners that will be working with Facebook to address the needs and ongoing education of various communities on the continent include Rudi International, Internet Society (Uganda Chapter), Watoto Watch (Kenya), Malawi Internet Governance Forum, Women’s Technology Empowerment Center (Nigeria), South Africa’s film and Publication Boards, JOXAfrica Association (Senegal), Tech Women Zimbabwe, and the J Initiative in Ghana.

“We believe in the positive uses of technology and are happy to play a role in helping to create a better, safer and more productive online community,” Adeyemi Odutola, Communications Officer at W.TEC said. “Safer Internet Day is a great way to create a global conversation about how we make the internet work better for everyone, especially girls and women.”

Businessday.

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