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New platform to help create safer internet
in Africa

The Africa Online Safety Platform is a free website that provides research, educational resources, and help for online crime victims, writes JASON BANNIER.

The Africa Online Safety Platform (AOSP) is a free website that addresses the key challenges of online safety in Africa. Impact Amplifier, a social impact-focused accelerator and capital advisory business launched the platform, with support from, in Johannesburg this week.

AOSP offers a collection of research, educational content, funding opportunities, and avenues for seeking assistance in the aftermath of online crimes. 

The platform addresses a number of African issues:

  • The absence of a centralised repository for diverse African online safety research.
  • The lack of an educational hub for online safety material relevant to African users.
  • The complexity and time-consuming nature of legal and social media platform support systems.
  • Insufficient funding for necessary interventions.

Impact Amplifier director Tanner Methvin says: “With over 570-million people having access to the internet in Africa, reflecting just under 47% of the continent’s population, online safety concerns deserve utmost attention.”

Google country director Dr Alistair Mokoena says: “By 2030, we estimate another 300-million Africans will come online. However, we want to ensure that they are not vulnerable to cyberattacks, cybersecurity.”

The platform’s objective is to simplify the understanding of online safety issues affecting different regions in Africa, provide guidance on keeping individuals, especially young people, safe online, facilitate the formal integration of online safety education into schools and homes, and offer funding opportunities for safety innovators. Additionally, the platform serves as a resource for obtaining help in the event of online crimes or violations.

On the website, one can explore research content classified by category, subject, content type, years, and country. Some of the featured categories include fake news, online gaming, children’s rights online, cyber violence, cybersecurity, and mis/disinformation.

Similarly, one can filter educational resources by topics, categories, audience, subjects, and content types. Impact Africa says they plan to make more content available on their site, with regular posting.

Panel discussion featuring Africa Online Safety Fund beneficiaries, Craig Rosewarne (Wolfpack Information Risk), Camaren Peter (Centre for Analytics and Behavioural Change), Martha Sunda (Childline Kenya), Dennis Ratemo (Terre des Hommes Netherlands), and panel moderator, Tanner Methvin (Impact Amplifier), at the African Online Safety Platform launch in Johannesburg.

During a panel discussion featuring grantees from Impact Amplifier’s ecosystem, managing director of Wolfpack Information Risk Craig Rosewarne said: “South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, and other African countries are wealthy from an African perspective, and present opportunities for criminals to make money with a low risk. Unlike where the risk is higher in places like America, Europe, and China where sophisticated systems exist in terms of manpower and tools.”

AOSP aims to mitigate Africans’ vulnerability to cybercrime. However, the platform is designed to address various risks and dangers present on the internet.

* Visit the Africa Online Safety Platform here.

* Jason Bannier is a data analyst at World Wide Worx and writer for Follow him on Twitter and Threads at @jas2bann.

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