Mobile Network Operator, Tigo, has called on stakeholders, including internet service providers, policy makers, security agencies, child rights activists, parents and the media to help make the internet a safer and better place, especially for children and young adults in Ghana.

Speaking at a stakeholders’ forum organised by J-Initiative, as part of Safer Internet Day, Tigo’s Director for Corporate Affairs, Gifty Bingley, emphasised the importance of connectivity and accessibility in the education and development of children. She however added that it was important for stakeholders including parents to ensure their safety online.

Touching on Tigo’s effort to raise awareness on the importance of working towards creating a safer online environment for everyone, she disclosed that in 2014 Tigo’s parent company, Millicom, signed a three-year partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to create standards for the telecoms industry aimed at promoting respect for the online rights of young people and to advance child online protection across all its operations.

She said following that global commitment, Tigo Ghana, has committed to child online protection and has been supporting local organisations such as J-Initiative to create awareness and build the capacity of stakeholders, especially parents, teachers and children.

“In 2016, we supported J-Initiative to train 86 teachers from 16 districts within the Greater Accra Region. Some 2,300 pupils from 20 selected schools were also trained on how to stay safe online. Safety awareness sessions were also done for parents in some churches in Accra,” she said.

Ms. Awo Aidam Amenyah, the Executive Director for J Initiative, a non-governmental organization also highlighted the emergence of new technologies, the many positive outcomes with benefits and perceived risks it poses to children and young people.

She underscored J Initiative’s preparedness to work with all stakeholders to ensure that a safer and better internet environment for all, especially children.

“We have gladly embraced the rallying call for SID 2017 and we believe we all need to contribute in making the internet safe for children as it has endless of opportunities for their development,” she said.

Safer Internet Day is celebrated by hundreds of countries around the world. The day is aimed at promoting safe, responsible and positive use of technology, especially among children and young adults. This year’s celebration was on the theme is ‘Be the Change: Unite for a better Internet’.

Stakeholders present at the event included the World Vision International, Vodafone, Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Department of Children, Open Learning, Ghana Institute of Journalism, Ghana Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-Ghana), Ghana Telecom University, WILDAF Ghana and Ghana Education Service, among others.