Impact Amplifier, in collaboration with Google.org, has unveiled the African Online Safety Platform (AOSP), a comprehensive initiative designed to address online safety challenges across the African continent. The AOSP aims to tackle various issues hindering the African internet safety ecosystem, such as the lack of a centralized repository for research and educational materials, complex support systems, and underfunding of interventions.
The platform serves as a rich repository of research, educational content, funding opportunities, and avenues for seeking help in the event of online crimes. It aims to provide insights into the online safety issues affecting different regions of Africa, particularly among young users, and offers resources for formal online safety education in schools and homes.
During the launch event, a panel discussion featuring Impact Amplifier’s grantees highlighted the complexities of online safety in Africa and proposed solutions tailored to local contexts. Panellists from South Africa and Kenya, including representatives from organizations such as Wolfpack Information Risk, Centre for Analytics and Behavioural Change (CABC), Terre des Hommes, and Childline Kenya, emphasized the importance of localized approaches to online safety.
Dr Alistair Mokoena, Google SA Country Director, reiterated Google’s commitment to supporting the online safety ecosystem in Africa. He encouraged stakeholders to utilize the platform’s educational and research resources and apply for funding opportunities.
Tanner Methvin, Director of Impact Amplifier, emphasized the significance of addressing online safety concerns in Africa, considering the continent’s growing internet user base. He highlighted the platform’s innovative approaches to combating misinformation, tracking cybercriminals, supporting targeted individuals, integrating online safety training into curriculums, and more.
The launch of the AOSP signifies a concerted effort to safeguard vulnerable populations from online harms while maximizing the benefits of the internet across Africa.