- GISF to engage stakeholders
Ghana has been ranked 79th among 100 countries in issues related to child online protection by the Child Online Safety Index (COSI).
The COSI globally measures a nations’ level of online safety for children across six pillars – including children themselves, families, schools, companies, and soft and hard infrastructure of government -and is dedicated to monitoring trends in child online safety around the world with real-time updates.
The COSI score, released last year, is calculated for each country ranging from 10 (the worst) to 100 (the best). Ghana is performing creditably with its 79th position. However, the country’s goal is to be in the 90s percentile.
The inaugural report of COSI, which examined six major pillars of support for children’s online safety across 30 countries through data from 145,426 children, was published on Safer Internet Day in 2020.
This time around, the report broadened and increased its measurement to examine and compare countries’ performance on COSI across the six pillars using data from 329,142 children and adolescents in 100 countries.
However, as the country prepares to celebrate the 20th edition of World Safer Internet Day 2023 on Tuesday 7th February, the Ghana Internet Safety Foundation (GISF) is urging government and stakeholders to commit more resources for child online protection.
GISF’s founder and Chief Executive Officer, Emmanuel Adinkrah, is also calling for more stakeholder engagements and education on child Internet safety issues.
According to Mr. Adinkrah, issues related to child online protection must be given serious consideration by major stakeholders in the country as they impact the country’s future.
“GISF is raising awareness for Safer Internet Day 2023, emphasising the importance of digital parenting in protecting children from online dangers.
“There is a need for stakeholders in Ghana to do more to improve on our Internet safety issues in order to rank creditably on the global index of Child Online Safety,” he stated
He said children require protection not only in physical space, and their digital lives/persona must also be protected.
They will be able to interact with experts from GISF and other organisations dedicated to Internet safety and get answers to their questions on how to keep their children safe online.
He added that: “GISF is proud to join the global community in the celebration of Safer Internet Day 2023. This year’s theme is ‘Together for a better Internet, highlighting the role of parents and caregivers in creating a safer online environment for children and young people’.
He also lamented that most Ghanaian parents grew up in a completely different technological age without social media, multi-player games, online porn, video streaming, cyberbullying or sexting.
Mr. Adinkrah indicated that: “Some of us even remember the good old days of dial-up connections. Back then, digital parenting meant getting the kids off the phone so you could send an email.
“In today’s world, our kids are connected 24/7 – even in the classroom – so much so that the distinction between online and offline is less and less meaningful.”
He further noted that with more young people accessing and consuming digital content, good cyber hygiene must be emphasised right from schools to places of worship and our homes.
“Several interventions by government through the Cybersecurity Authority are very commendable. However, more resources are required to create the necessary awareness, provide support to the victims of these cybercrimes, and create alternative digital spaces/programmes for our teeming netizens in Ghana,” he said