The Guardian (Nigeria)

Google boosts safety of Internet users with Africa programmes

Unveils new plans for Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa

- By Adeyemi Adepetun

GOOGLE has announced new initiative­s in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa to keep children, youths and families safe online. Aligning with the theme of this year’s global Safer Internet Day: Together For Better Internet, it partnered several organisati­ons on the Africanthe continent to boost efforts and develop education programmes around online safety.

In s statement yesterday, Country Director, Google Nigeria, Juliet Ehimuan, said: “With an estimated 346 million Internet users that came online for the first time last year and 376 million new social media users, there is no better time for us to help people stay safe online.

“We are working with nonprofits and social enterprise­s to advance their work through Google. org’s Africa Online Safety Fund, while also working with educationa­l institutio­ns and government­s in subSaharan Africa to have a greater impact.”

As part of the Africa Online Safety Fund, Google. org gave a grant to Impact Amplifier and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, to run an open call across the continent to find the most innovative and impactful nonprofit organisati­ons operating in this space.

It explained that 26 social impact organisati­ons in nine African countries have been selected to receive grants of up to $ 100,000 each, including five in Nigeria: Epower, Lagosmums, Velma Foundation, Hive Creative Guild and Teens Can Code.

She explained that the funding would be used to boost projects that work to combat online vulnerabil­ities, disinforma­tion and extremism targeted at children, youths, families, schools and small and medium- sized businesses ( SMBS).

Google has also collaborat­ed with Nigerian author, Nomthi Odukoya to create children’s online safety book: How to be Safe Online, while hard copies would be distribute­d to 30,000 learners in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa this month, and also online on the Read Along app.

THE Lagos State Chapter of All Progressiv­es Congress ( APC) has urged citizens of the state to disregard calls urging them to engage in protests or activities that could lead to further unrest in the state.

The state’s Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Seye Oladejo, in a statement, yesterday, also urged the people to be mindful of the ravaging second wave of COVID19 pandemic, which thrives in an atmosphere of mammoth crowd, before heeding to any reckless call to protest.

The party said its position was based on the recent call by a former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of APC, Timi Frank, who said citizens of the state should troop out to protest the reopening of the Lekki Tollgate Plaza, which was closed down in the aftermath of the October 20, 2020 # ENDSARS protests.

The party said the intention of such call was to get the youths back on the streets and to unleash further mayhem on innocent people, who are still individual­ly and collective­ly struggling to overcome their recent losses.

According to Oladejo: “Our earlier position that the violent and orchestrat­ed protest were sponsored is perhaps being buttressed by this renewed efforts to make the state ungovernab­le.”

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