By Keith Asumba
The 2021 Safer Internet Day was marked at the Communications Authority of Kenya headquarters in Nairobi, attended by stakeholders from the respective Communications, Media and ICT fields. This year’s theme was Together for a Better Future, and the ceremony was presided over by Chief Assistant Secretary for the Ministry of ICT, Maureen Mbaka.
Safer Internet Day is a noteworthy event in the global online safety calendar that was started by the EU’s SafeBorders project in 2004, and was later taken up by the Insafe network and has since grown beyond borders to be celebrated in over 150 countries worldwide!
The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), stakeholders and partners recognize children and youth as early adopters of different forms of information technology and are adversely vulnerable to the threats of cyberspace. As a result, the authority has developed and implemented a Child Online Protection Programme (COP) that will leverage a multi-stakeholder approach with a view to develop and implement initiatives that will make the internet safer for children in Kenya.
“Through this one of a kind partnership, we aim to provide parents, educators and our children with an interactive portal providing information on how to keep our children safe online,” Chief Corporate Affairs Officer of Safaricom Limited, Steve Chege, had this to say during the handover and launch of the Child Online Protection platform. “The site will enable more collaboration with other COP partners and interested parties as it continues to evolve.”
Speaking to andgo Magazine, GSMA Senior Policy Manager East Africa, Caroline Mbugua HSC, stated that Global Systems for Mobile Communications (GSMA) is working with different mobile operators to be able to provide necessary tools to different users i.e. parents and children, for them to be equipped in handling the online space.
“For their [users] interaction, from the acquisition of the products to reporting in case of an incident, there are policies put in place through an industry guideline that we have provided in collaboration with UNICEF and International Telecommunication Union that provides guidelines to operators when they are developing their own policies that will govern the development of young online users.”
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