Google launches $1 million fund for online safety

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In a bid to support innovative ideas around privacy, safety and security in Sub-saharan Africa, Google has launched a $1 million pan-African fund. The fund was launched at the 16th annual Safer Internet Day in Abuja on Tuesday.

Head, Brand and Reputation, Google Africa, Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, explained that the initiative was designed to empower organisations and provide a safe internet for children.

“Google is committed to a safe Internet for children, as well as the empowerment of organisations who share this commitment. The fund will be administered by a third-party partner on behalf of, and we will be sharing details on application criteria and deadlines soon,” she said.

Google also announced that its other safety programme, Be Internet Awesome would start in the Netherlands, Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya on February 13.

Also, present at the Safer Internet Day event was Facebook. The social media giant disclosed that it would be partnering with 9 African organisations to raise awareness about Internet safety and security. The groups were chosen across African countries like Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Madagascar, Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa.

The groups are:

  • Watoto Watch Network;
  • Paradigm Initiative;
  • Child Online Africa;
  • Youth First Madagascar;
  • Computing and Information Association;
  • Asikana Network;
  • Digify Africa;
  • Phambano Technology Development Centre NPC; and
  • Diana Schwarz Attorneys.

Commenting on behalf of Facebook, the Strategic Media Partnerships Manager for Facebook in sub-Saharan Africa, Jocelyne Muhutu-Rémy said that Facebook was doing everything necessary to ensure that there is no privacy breach of users data on both the Facebook and Instagram platform.

“We’re committed to ensuring Facebook and Instagram are places for everyone, especially the youth. That’s why we offer a range of tools on our platforms to give people full control over their experience and work with our partners to drive awareness about the practices, resources and tools people can use to protect their online wellbeing,” Muhutu-Rémy said.

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