Search engine, Google, Wednesday announced a $1 million fund for African start-ups who have innovative ideas on privacy, trust and safety of families online.
This is also as the company announced a landmark child online safety programme, “Be Internet Awesome” in the Netherlands, Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya simultaneously.
The programme seeks to help minors explore the internet safely and confidently.
Google made the announcements in Abuja during this year’s Safer Internet Day celebration.
Safer internet day is an annual celebration created by Google to showcase ideas and activities aimed at helping kids to be safe, confident explorers of the online world.
It ensures that kids grow smart, alert and cautious of activities that can put them in harm’s way.
The fund which will be administered by a trusted partner will support initiatives across Sub Saharan Africa
Google said criteria and details of how to apply for the fund will be available next week.
Head of Brand & reputation, Google Africa, Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde said Google’s commitment to a safer internet for Nigerian children will only continue to grow as efforts to also equip them to compete with their foreign counterparts also grows…….
She said: ‘‘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 Google.org, and we will be sharing details on application criteria and deadlines soon.”
Aderemi said that “Be Internet Awesome” teaches kids important skills for surfing the internet, like how to recognise potential online scams.
In his remarks, Dr. Garba Abari, DG, National Orientation Agency, NOA, said, Google through Safer internet day, provides a great opportunity to promote internet safety across a range of audiences, which is why NOA strongly supports the event.
Abari who was represented by Mrs. Mette Edekobi, the Director, Special Duties, said: “In this internet age, parents should strive to know as much as their children know, so they will be able to checkmate the activities of the kids.
“We are really glad to be collaborating with Google and our reliable partners, private Public development Centres, PPDC, to launch “The Digital Parenting Initiative” a program aimed at educating guardians, teachers and families on online tools that bring families together to learn, have fun and be safe online.”