Safer Internet Day is organised by the UK Safer Internet Centre and is celebrated annually across Europe, and in other countries worldwide. The day set aside in February since 2011 offers the opportunity for organizations and individuals to highlight positive uses of technology and to explore the role everyone plays in helping to create a better and safer online community. This year JI a child and family focused organization in Ghana and partners have decided to join other 31 countries globally to celebrate this day in order to provide resources as well as tools for children and young people, schools and families, for staying safe online.
This year, Safer Internet Day 2015 (SID 2015) was celebrated globally on Tuesday 10th February,2015 and for the first time in Ghana by J Initiative in partnership with the Ghana Education Service, Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication, Starr Fm and Channel 5TV, under the theme: ‘Let’s create a better internet together’. The event which took place at the British Council Auditorium-Accra had in attendance the Head of Programmes of Starr Fm Mr. Kafui Dey, the General Manager of Channel 5TV Mr. Ekow Freeman, Criminal Justice Advisor on Cybercrime Expert Mr. Ayo Awoyungbo, MD of Popout-Ghana Mr. Maximus Ametorgoh, Mrs. Victoria Dei-Kumah of GIFEC, The Director of Nandi Mobile Ms. Anne Amuzu, the a representative from the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service, teachers, students from 15 basic and senior high schools within Accra and the media. Participants at the SID 2015 launch were taken through topics like: the need for safer internet, Child Online Protection, Social Media and its effect, Actual verses virtual and the Ten Ps of online protection. Other topics included: Uses of the internet, cybercrime, protecting your digital footprint and our responsibilities.
J Initiative from this year will join the world in observing this day annually as part of the “children & ICT Tools Campaign” which was launched on the 14th of February 2014 to help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people and also give them alternative uses of the internet enabled devices around Ghana. Suffice with this is to make available to parents and children relevant information they require in ensuring that children as well as their families are safe from necessary harm if not all. The decision to observe SID also offers the opportunity to highlight positive uses of technology and to explore the role we all play in helping to create a better and safer online community call on young people, parents, caregivers, teachers, social workers, law enforcement agencies, Telcos, policymakers, and the wider stakeholder group, to come on board in helping to create a better internet.
Ghana as a Country is not shield from the pernicious ramifications the cyberspace brings and so are children, young people, teachers, parents and social workers. Our expectation is that a concrete action from government in connection with expediting action on the development of a strategy for Child Online Protection for Ghana is achieved soon.
One would say, whatever your status is in the technological world, there are ways in which we can contribute to safer internet and it is necessary we accept the challenge and device creative ways of promoting safer internet as a county. In order to sustain the experience of the day, the Head of Programmes Mr. Kafui Dey of Starr Fm launched the SID information pack to mark the day. Each school present has received the materials to be made available to parents, students and any other interested persons to use. We however wish to commend our partners for keeping faith in us and not only that but also accepting the challenge to be part of the celebration of this day in Ghana, this we know will go a long way to making their efforts in promoting child online safety a reality and Ghana will in the end have a safer internet for all.
Safer internet is our collective responsibility; safer internet is Up2Us.