Google Kenya is hosting the
first Web Rangers summit in Africa aimed at spreading awareness
about internet safety and promoting responsible digital
citizenship on the continent.
26 Web Rangers from Kenya, Nigeria and
South Africa are attending the summit to meet and share ideas on
how they can make the Internet a safer place for young Internet
users in their respective countries.
Ms. Fatuma Hirsi, the Principal
Secretary Broadcasting and Telecommunication, said: “Programmes
such as Web Rangers are a very welcome complement to the work
that parents, teachers, guardians and governments do in building
a better world for our children.”
“I congratulate Google in
conceptualising the programme and scaling it to many countries
in such a short time, and also for your work in building into
your products and services tools and resources that help
families to use the Internet safely and responsibly.
“I thank you too for your choice of
our beautiful country Kenya as the host of your Summit,” she
added in a speech read on her behalf by Mr. Timothy Were, Deputy
Director, Ministry of ICT Kenya.
Doron Avni, Director, Public Policy
and Government Relations, EMEA Emerging Markets an founder of
Webrangersa said: “At Google, we are deeply committed to
protecting children on the Internet and providing all of our
users with a safe experience because protecting kids is a
responsibility we all share, and our business depends on people
being online - and we need it to be a safe space.”
He added: “The Internet can aid
children with their school work, help them connect with friends,
and offer a creative outlet.
“At the same time, children have been
exposed to some of the worst forms of exploitation, violence and
“It is therefore important that we all
work closely together in order to mitigate the unintended
negative aspects of this medium on children, while at the same
time maximising the benefits they can accrue from it.”
Main highlights of the Summit
programme include: a bootcamp on how to make campaign videos for
online audiences topics such as diversity and inclusion, trust,
tolerance and responsibility.
Participants will also learn how to
tackle real life policy issues - focusing on cyberbullying,
sexting, sharing personal information online and catfishing.
Web Rangers is a Google-led digital
literacy programme aimed at promoting and educating the youth
about how the internet is an empowering tool relevant to their
lives and their future.
The programme provides workshops run
by local online safety experts to help train young people.
These young online safety
‘ambassadors’ then run campaigns amongst their peers, schools
and communities to raise awareness of online safety.
Started in Israel in 2011, Web Rangers
has since grown to 15 countries around the world. In Africa, Web
Rangers is active in 3 countries - Kenya, South Africa and
In Kenya, Web Rangers was launched in
2015 at Precious Girls Secondary, Riruta. During the launch,
President Uhuru Kenyatta challenged the programme to harness the
agency of young people to use technology to build bridges of
peace and understanding online and in their communities.
The programme has been implemented in
over 176 schools across Kenya, directly trained 3,500 students
and 1,500 teachers; and indirectly (through peer training)
reached over 30,000 students.
In South Africa, the programme has
been implemented in 3 provinces, reaching 2,000 learners, 50
volunteers and over 50 schools.
In Nigeria, over 2,000 learners from
20 schools have been directly trained in three states, and the
campaign has reached over 15,000 learners in 36 states through a
partnership with the National Film and Video Censors Board, who
have incorporated the programme to their Safer Internet Day
In Kenya, an offshoot of the
programme, known as Amani Hangout Bridges, focuses on the agency
of young people in Kenya to use technology to build bridges of
peace and understanding.
Google’s implementing partner for this
has been Twaweza Communications working closely with the
Ministry of Education and the National Cohesion & Integration
Cabinet Secretary Raphael Tuju will
close the summit on Friday and deliver a message from His
Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Mr Tuju will present certificates of
recognition to the Web Rangers and the Web Rangers will present
to him a Charter on Rights and Responsibilities Online that they