AFRICA – Facebook, social media conglomerate corporation, has launched “My Digital World”, a programme designed to equip the youths in Africa with skills needed to navigate the digital world. 

It said in statement that “My Digital World” was a consolidation of all Facebook digital literacy programs including Safe Online with Facebook, Ilizwe Lam, and eZibo which would all be offered virtually this year to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Safe Online with Facebook is a pogram where Facebook joined forces with Co-Creation Hub and Junior Achievement Nigeria for the Safe Online programme, a 12-week after school workshop which was designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of online safety and digital literacy.  

Ilizwe Lam is a program where Facebook partnered with Digify Africa. It is a digital literacy programme which offered youth communities in secondary schools and afterschool programmes on how to stay safe online including, online safety, privacy, news literacy and digital citizenship skills. 

eZibois a program where Facebook partnered with Asikana Network in Zambia to offer youths in secondary schools and afterschool programmes vital training around responsible social media usage, online safety, privacy, news literacy and digital citizenship skills. 

The company said over the years, it had trained thousands of people on digital literacy skills. 

It noted that this year it was prepared to train close to 20,000 participants across Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Zambia, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire and Ethiopia on safe, responsible and beneficial usage of the digital platforms. 

Commenting, Phil Oduor, Policy Programs Manager for Economic Impact and Digital Literacy, Facebook said: “We remain committed to equipping young people and the general public across Sub-Saharan Africa with the vital digital skills needed to navigate the digital world, especially during these pandemic. 

Oduor said it had never been more important to invest and train communities, the next generation of leaders to better understand and utilise the power of digital tools to take full advantage of what the internet had to offer. 

“The training is free and open to youths aged 13 years and above, and will also focus on teachers, parents and guardians. The sessions commence from today June 15 with the programme including up to 90-minutes Instructor-led live webinars featuring presentations, demos and virtual discussions. 

“Also they will have access to digital marketing campaigns highlighting best practices, tips, quizzes and polls on digital literacy topics, with content delivered through Facebook and Instagram. Modules on online safety, privacy, news and media literacy, and digital citizenship citizenship would also be made available.” 

“Facebook is committed to the well-being of individuals and communities visiting its platforms, “Oduor said. 

He said Facebook also invested in this initiative to build awareness on responsible online behaviour, critical thinking and understanding of social issues. 

Oduor said Facebook had also instituted policies, tools, resources, partnerships, and programmes to help enable safe, responsible, and beneficial use of its platforms. 

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