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AU and TikTok jointly empower African youth

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The African Union (AU) and TikTok, the video-sharing social networking platform, have announced a joint initiative called the Safer Together campaign to empower African youth with the knowledge and tools to navigate the digital world safely.

The 55-member continental bloc said in a statement Sunday that the campaign, which was launched at the recent TikTok Safer Internet Summit in Ghana, aims to empower not only Africa’s young people but also parents and educators on digital safety.

Prudence Ngwenya, director of the Women, Gender and Youth Directorate at the AU Commission, lauded the partnership as a vital step toward empowering Africa’s youth and safeguarding their digital future.

“The Safer Together campaign is in line with the AU’s ongoing efforts to promote and advocate not only for safe online experiences for young people in Africa but also for their mental well-being through the One Million Next Level Initiative,” Ngwenya said.

The One Million Next Level Initiative seeks to provide opportunities for 300 million African youth by 2030 in the areas of education, employment, entrepreneurship, as well as health and well-being, according to the AU.

Ngwenya noted that while access to the 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.

The campaign includes a wide array of in-app activities, such as educational video content, hashtag challenges, endorsements by content creators, and notifications, the AU said.

The joint initiative will also provide “Digital Safety Toolkits” to support educators and guardians in tackling key digital safety topics, available through a dedicated microsite on TikTok, offering an engaging guide for fostering safer online behaviors.

Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda, government relations and public policy director for TikTok in Sub-Saharan Africa, underscored TikTok’s commitment to nurturing a digitally safe environment for all.

“Our partnership with the AU women, gender, and youth directorate reinforces TikTok’s deep commitment to the diverse tapestry of markets across Africa,” he said.

The AU and TikTok also expressed their joint commitment to creating a more inclusive and safer digital space for Africa’s youth. The AU said the partnership will empower young people with the tools and confidence to navigate the online world with wisdom and safety.

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