Read time: 3 minutes

TikTok, African Union launch digital safety campaign

By , ITWeb
Africa , 19 Mar 2024
TikTok and the African Union Commission forge multi-year partnership for digital safety with #SaferTogether campaign.
TikTok and the African Union Commission forge multi-year partnership for digital safety with #SaferTogether campaign.

Tik Tok, the short-form mobile video company, has partnered with the African Union Commission's Women, Gender, and Youth Directorate (WGYD) to raise online safety awareness among youth and parents across the continent, just days after the US House of Representatives passed a bill to ban the social media platform.

The decision in the US might result in TikTok being prohibited unless ByteDance, the app's Chinese parent firm, sells its controlling interest.

If it fails to do so, the app will be prohibited in the US.

Nonetheless, Tik Tok announced its African contract today, citing an urgent need for digital safety in light of the continent's particular issues.

It said: “Africa stands at a digital crossroads, with the rapid proliferation of social media platforms juxtaposed against rising concerns for the safety of its youngest citizens. The recent wave of regulatory scrutiny and the shadow of potential bans underscore the importance of proactive measures to ensure a safe online environment.”

In Africa, TikTok has already received criticism and has been banned in some countries, including Somalia.

The social media network is currently under heightened attention in African countries due to its content and influence on a younger people.

Against this backdrop, TikTok said that it is collaborating with the African Union Commission (AUC) to launch the Africa-wide #SaferTogether Campaign, which will educate and engage young people, parents, teachers, and community leaders on digital safety through its-app and on-ground activities.

This major, multi-year programme was unveiled on March 14 at the TikTok Safer Internet Summit in Accra, Ghana, which was attended by government officials and regulators from all around the continent.

Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda, government relations and public policy director, TikTok, Sub-Saharan Africa, said: “Our #SaferTogether partnership with the African Union Commission's Women, Gender and Youth Directorate reinforces TikTok's commitment to the diverse tapestry of markets across Africa.

Through initiatives like our educational workshops, and the development of comprehensive safety toolkits, we are committed to nurturing a digitally safe environment for all.”

Prudence Nonkululeko Ngwenya, director of the women, gender, and youth directorate African Union, commented: “The #SaferTogether campaign launch with TikTok is in line with the African Union’s ongoing efforts to promote and advocate for not only safe online experiences for young people in Africa, but also their mental well-being through the one million next level initiative.

“While access to internet can help children and young people stay connected, improve their digital literacy, and diversify their livelihoods, it is crucial that they are provided with a safe environment to reap the benefits of digital platforms.”

Daily newsletter