A key partnership to help protect children online in Zambia has been launched.
The Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) and the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) have partnered on cyber security matters including creating awareness among Zambian children about the optimal and safe use of ICTs.
The partnership is aimed at ensuring that the growing access to digital technology in Zambia benefits the country’s children.
The partnership will also create awareness among children on the safe use of ICTs through the concept of digital citizenship, sensitisation activities for the girl child on the importance of ICTs and fostering digital engagement.
According to Unicef, the approach to digital citizenship and safety aims to foster positive use of digital tools among children and young people, empowering them to make right choices online and equipping them with the knowledge and skills to use digital tools to advance their rights and development in schools, communities and their lives.
Unicef Zambia officer-in-charge, Paul Quarles Van Ufford, said more young people in the country are accessing digital media and using new technology.
“With more young people accessing digital media and using new technology, there are many opportunity for them including access to information, online learning, socialising, engagement and exchange of information,” Van Ufford said.
“However, it also exposes new groups with less digital literacy to a range of online risks such as censorship, cyber bullying suggestive self-exposure, privacy violation and exposure to indecent content and embarrassment,” he added.
Since 2012, Unicef Zambia has been involved in a global project to understand the impact that growing access to the internet, social media and mobile phones have on children’s lives and to raise awareness about the safe and responsible use of digital technology through the concept of digital citizenship.