TECHNOLOGY

Google grants Sh100 million to promote safe internet use in Africa

In Summary
  • Google is helping children practice smart tactics by granting Sh 100 million to promote safe internet use in Africa.

Acting director general, Communication Authority of Kenya Mercy Wanjau, Country director, Google Kenya Charles Murito and Head of Regulatory and Republic Policy Safaricom Ms Kui Kinyanjui during the launch of a program for the safer Internet Day 2020 at the Communication Authority headquarters Nairobi.
Acting director general, Communication Authority of Kenya Mercy Wanjau, Country director, Google Kenya Charles Murito and Head of Regulatory and Republic Policy Safaricom Ms Kui Kinyanjui during the launch of a program for the safer Internet Day 2020 at the Communication Authority headquarters Nairobi.
Image: WILFRED NYANGARESI

Google has announced Sh 100 million grant to promote safe internet use by children, young people and families in Africa to be confident explorers of the online world.     

The grant will support training by non-profit and social enterprises focusing on privacy, trust and safety in Africa as well as providing organisations with funds to support the online safety efforts for children.

Speaking during the launch of the 16th annual Safer Internet Day celebrations; country director for Google Kenya, Charles Murito said that the best answers often come from those closest to the problem and that is why they can’t do it alone.

“We can't do it alone therefore with help from civil society organizations and nonprofit innovators we are launching a pan-African fund to support innovative project ideas, digital literacy and online safety. “said Murito.

Google is helping children practice smart tactics for analysing and evaluating information, sharing media with care, protecting and securing private data, and handling cyberbullying.

In Kenya, Google works with a range of partners including NGOs, educators, schools, government agencies and regulatory bodies.

August 2019, Google began collaborations with local NGOs and stakeholders to run face to face online safety training reaching 36,000 students, parents and teachers, helping children learn how to be safer online.

Google is aiming at expanding programs around internet literacy through its landmark program for kids; Be Internet Awesome which launches in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

“The 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.”Acting director-general, Communications Authority of Kenya, Mercy Wanjau said.

Children are more than 30 percent of Internet users and the fastest-growing online demographic.  By 2022, another 1.2 billion new users will be added to this figure.

This is why Google launched the online safety roadshow to expand its online safety program for high schoolers which has so far trained over 100,000 children and educators as well as launching an online safety program for parents.

The World Economic Forum report, states that more than 50 percent of the world’s children experience violence every year and mobile use is rising as well as internet access in Africa.

Acting director general, Communication Authority of Kenya Mercy Wanjau, inspects guard of honor mounted by Kenya Scouts Association.
Acting director general, Communication Authority of Kenya Mercy Wanjau, inspects guard of honor mounted by Kenya Scouts Association.
Image: WILFRED NYANGARESI