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Google in Africa

Safer Internet Day 2019: Scaling our Online Safety Programmes in Africa

At Google, creating a positive experience for our users is an absolute priority for us. Our goal is to help maximize the best of what technology has to offer kids and families while empowering them to use technology safely and responsibly. Beyond building safety controls into our products, we work with partners to educate young users on online safety. We do this primarily through two of our online safety programmes: Be Internet Awesome - a multi-faceted programme that includes a fun and free web-based game; and Web Rangers, a peer-to-peer based program empowering young people to be ambassadors of safe and responsible Internet use in their schools and communities.

We use the occasion of Safer Internet Day to join our partners in amplifying the importance of online safety for young people and to reflect on the successes and challenges of our collaborative online safety programs in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

This year, the theme for Safer Internet Day is "Together for a better internet". The slogan is a call to action for all stakeholders to join together and play their part in creating a better internet for everyone, and especially for younger users.

In Kenya, our partners, the Kenya Scouts Association, which is the country's largest youth movement and CODE-IP Trust, a local non-governmental organization, hosted the Ministry of Youth to announce the launch of the Association's national Online Safety Learners’ Handbook and Teachers’ Guide at its headquarters in Nairobi. Commemorative events led by Scout leaders were also held in six other regions in the country. The Learners Handbook and Teachers' Guide will ultimately be distributed to the 1.4 million Scouts and 40,000 Scout leaders and trainers nationwide. The Association also announced the 2019 edition of the Kenya Web Rangers Program, an online safety program that will directly reach 90,000 Scouts and 40,000 Scout leaders by December 2019.

In Nigeria, the Executive Secretary of the Education Research and Development Council which is responsible for curriculum review announced its collaboration with the Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC) to fully integrate Google's online safety content into the national curriculum. At an event also attended by students, the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Information and the Nigerian Film Corporation, it was also announced that the incorporation and curriculum design would be completed in the first quarter of 2019 while its full integration across the country may span a couple of years. Ultimately, the training will impact an estimated 56 million students across the country every year.

Students in the WebRangers program celebrating SID 2019 with local partners in Abuja, Nigeria

Students in the WebRangers program celebrating SID 2019 with local partners in Abuja, Nigeria

In South Africa, Google joined the Films and Publications Board, senior government representatives, learners, teachers and parents at an event inaugurating the 2019 edition of the Web Rangers online safety programme. The programme will run in 25 schools in 4 provinces in the country.

We will continue to grow our efforts to enable young people, parents and educators to have the knowledge they need to make smart and responsible choices online and to invest in digital literacy resources and programs that build an informed and responsible generation of digital citizens.