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Ghana to commemorate Africa Safer Internet Day with focus on child online safety

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Africa Safer Internet Day

Ghana is gearing up to celebrate the annual Africa Safer Internet Day (ASID) on Tuesday, February 6, under the theme “Empowering Minds, Protecting Rights: Creating a Safer Digital Africa.” The Cybersecurity Authority issued a statement, urging parents, , , the media, and the private sector to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.

ASID is dedicated to advancing online safety initiatives and best practices, specifically focusing on Child Online Safety in Africa. The celebration aims to raise awareness and reflect the continent's commitment to ensuring a secure digital future, especially for young people.

A report from Ghana in 2022 revealed that over 13,000 images and videos of child sexual abuse were reportedly accessed or uploaded from Ghana in 2020. The statement noted that Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (OCSEA) was ranked among the top ten crime trends by Interpol's Global Crime Trends Report 2022, with 62% of member countries expecting a significant increase in this crime in the future.

The celebration in Ghana will focus on creating awareness of child online provisions in the Cybersecurity Act 2020 (Act 1038). It aims to raise awareness of current cybersecurity trends affecting children, share safety tips, and promote acceptable online behaviours for children and young persons. The event will also discuss channels for seeking redress.

The government of Ghana, through the (CSA), has implemented measures to ensure a safer internet, especially for children. These measures include the passage of the Cybersecurity Act 2020 (Act 1038) with provisions that criminalize child online abuses, the National Child Online Protection Framework, and the Cybersecurity/Cybercrime Incidents Reporting Points of Contacts.

The CSA is committed to organizing regular sensitization programs nationwide to educate children and parents on online safety. In 2022, the Authority launched the National Cybersecurity Challenge for Senior High Schools to educate students on the subject, promote cyber hygiene practices, and prepare them for careers in cybersecurity.

Despite government efforts, the statement highlights the need for collaboration from the private sector, technology companies, , parents, , and the media to enhance awareness of child online safety issues across the country. The CSA, in partnership with Ghana, the (GES), and other stakeholders, will lead the ASID celebration through various sensitization events, outreach programs, media engagements, and campaigns.

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