Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) today hosted an event to mark the annual Safer Internet Day, which is celebrated globally to advocate for the responsible use of the internet.
The event, which was held in collaboration with the Communications Authority, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), GSM Association (GSMA) and African Telecommunications Union (ATU) among others, sought to raise awareness about the opportunities presented by the internet as an enabler, but at the same time address the risks faced by young users.
“We see the internet as a resource that all children should have access to, safely. Ensuring the safety of young internet users means encouraging them, and their parents, to adopt what we’re calling the 4Rs: Respect, Responsibility, Reasoning and Resilience. In this way, they can tap into the opportunities provided by the internet, while at the same time learning how to identify and deal with the risks associated with being online including cyberbullying, radicalization and exposure to inappropriate content,” said Sanda Ojiambo – Head of Corporate Responsibility, Safaricom.
In November 2018, Safaricom signed the Kenya Child Online Protection Industry Charter to demonstrate its commitment to enhancing the safety of children on the internet. The company has also integrated the Children’s Rights and Business Principles (CRBP) into its operations, working closely with UNICEF, United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and Save the Children to protect the rights of children in the workplace, the marketplace and the community.
“As a result of our work with various partners, we have also drafted a Safaricom Child Online Safety Policy, whose objectives are to help consumers understand the rights of children online; to create awareness on the various risks that children face while online and to equip children, parents, caregivers and guardians with online safety tips. Additionally, we are working with Internet Watch Foundation to identify and block websites that target young users with inappropriate content from our network, and have partnered with the Communications Authority on Be The Cop, a child online protection initiative,” said Ms. Ojiambo.
Safer Internet Day began as an initiative of the European Union Safe Borders project in 2004, and is today celebrated in close to 130 countries around the world.
Safaricom invested KES 17 billion on network roll-out and acceleration of broadband and fibre deployment in the first half of the year ending 31st March 2019. Such investments have enabled the company provide free connectivity and internet to public primary schools, giving more young learners across the country supervised access to the internet.