South African social impact advisory firm Impact Amplifier has secured a second round of funding from Google.org to launch the second phase of the Africa Online Safety Fund, which seeks innovative solutions to online safety challenges.
Over 500 million people have access to the internet in Africa, and while the huge increase in internet, smartphone and mobile network usage has created many new opportunities for socio-economic development on the continent, it has also led to a range of safety concerns.
These include identity theft, bullying and harassment, sex trafficking, hate crimes, terrorist recruitment and promotion, misinformation and disinformation, and financial scams. The Africa Online Safety Fund has been established to support innovative existing and new solutions to these challenges.
The first phase of the fund focused on funding 26 social innovators in nine African countries with unique approaches to addressing online safety. While successful, it was clear that an expanded approach was required to address the depth and complexity of this issue.
In phase two, Impact Amplifier plans to address the problem at an ecosystem level by using a range of different tactics, including developing a central digital repository of African online safety research; initiating new research to fill some of the critical voids of knowledge; aggregating and creating existing and new educational materials for young people, teachers and parents regarding online safety; and funding African organisations and entrepreneurs creating unique solutions to this challenge.
Applicants open on March 1.