ITU/COP initiative partnership

Under the global Cybersecurity (GSA) agenda, COP was launched as a special initiative in November 2008 as "a multi-stakeholder effort to bring together partners from all sectors of the global community to ensure a safe online experience for children everywhere." Guidelines have been prepared in the context of the Child Online Protection Initiative. These global guidelines have been developed by ITU and teams of contributing authors from leading institutions active in the ICT sector, with the aim to address the key actors. It is vital that key actions are considered for these guidelines to be implemented successfully in Africa.

Today, young people in Africa are among the biggest user groups of online and mobile technologies. Internet and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) open a world of possibilities for children, expanding their horizons and providing opportunities to learn, create identities and participate in society. In parallel, however, ICT can also expose children and young people to risks that may be simply considered as the digital extension of existing offline threats. Measures that can protect them against these risks are needed to effectively mitigate the risks online.

The ITU regional office for Africa in partnership with ACOPEA has taken significant steps so far in order to identify global best practices in the world, in line with the COP guidelines with a view of implementing them in most of sub-Saharan African countries, with the Call to all member states & every key stakeholder to consider effective strategies at national, regional and continental levels and as a matter of urgency.

The ITU at the regional level in Africa continues to attach a high priority to its work on COP, starting with the e-safety pilot in 2013 in Ethiopia conducted in partnership with Africa Child Online Protection Education & awareness Centre (ACOPEA) and Facebook, COP awareness through a regional seminar such as the Uganda Regional COP summit in 2014, technical assistance provision for member states such as Rwanda, Chad & Gabon to formulate a national strategic framework & action plan.