Safer Internet Workshops support Gabon's Digital Agenda
Young people are eager to be informed more about online security
This year's Safer Internet Day marked the beginning of the collaboration between UNICEF and the Ministry of Education for the upcoming launch of the Safer Internet Campaign. Gabon is an upper-middle income country, so the internet is available to a large percentage of the population - including children.
Two awareness-raising sessions took place in Akébé and Georges Mabignat Secondary Schools, both of which are in underprivileged areas of Libreville. Through these sessions, it became clear that most young people are not aware of the risks associated with going online. Students discussed how to change their privacy settings on social media to protect their identity and the dangers of spending too much time online. The purpose of these sessions was to teach students how to be safe online.
General Christ, a young dancer who works with disadvantaged communities and is well known to the youth of Gabon, also joined the sessions to help raise awareness about online safety. He reminded the young people that the internet can be dangerous, especially if you spend too much time online. He also highlighted the advantages of the internet and how it can be a tool for personal development.
The head of the Balkissou Baba district also attended the session. She found it enriching and emphasized the need to expand the initiative in her neighborhood, one in which juvenile delinquency and the number of children out of school is very high.
Children start to use the internet at a very early age in Gabon. Through mobile data, it has become a tool used by everybody in society – from young to old. According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) in Gabon is very low.
The 7th of February marks the beginning of a long awareness campaign which will be conducted alongside a program to digitalize education in primary schools.