Twenty-six solutions have been awarded grant funding after being named winners of the Africa Online Safety Fund, a US$1 million initiative that seeks innovative solutions to online safety challenges.
Launched by South African social impact advisory firm Impact Amplifier, Google.org and the UK-based ISD in July of last year, the Africa Online Safety Fund aimed to support organisations that address safety issues around the internet, such as identity theft, bullying and harassment, sex trafficking, hate crimes, terrorist recruitment and promotion, misinformation and disinformation, and financial scams.
While not exclusively focused, it will be favouring solutions that address women and children’s online safety specifically, as they are the most targeted communities in this regard, and though open to organisations throughout Africa was prioritising Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Senegal, Ethiopia and Ivory Coast.
There are two categories of funding – Transformative and Catalytic. The former are intended to be larger in scale, reach multiple geographies and potentially large numbers of beneficiaries, and be scalable, and have been awarded grants up to a maximum of US$100,000.
This category had eight winners overall, namely Kenya’s ChildFund International, South Africa’s Dream Factory Foundation, Kenya’s Epuka Ugaidi, Nigeria’s Hive Creative Guild, Senegal’s Save the Children International, Nigeria’s Teens Can Code, South Africa’s Centre for Analytics and Behavioural Change, and Ethiopia’s University of Gondar.
Catalytic projects,meanwhile, are intended to be smaller, targeted, and potentially only locally or culturally specific. These grants will be up to a maximum of US$10,000. There are 18 winners in this category, including Ivory Coast’s Action et Humanisme, Uganda’s Aydia Technology Consultants, South Africa’s EndCode, Nigeria’s Epower, South Africa’s Fundanii, South Africa’s Global Leading Light Initiatives, Ethiopia’s iceaddis, and Nigeria’s LagosMums.
The list is completed by Kenya’s Lonamac, South Africa’s Media Monitoring Africa, Malawi’s Mzuzu Entrepreneur Hub, Kenya’s PAJAN Kenya, Nigeria’s Read Nigeria Book Reading Club, Kenya’s SheHacks Kenya, Kenya’s Sote Information & Communication Technology, Tanzania’s Tanzania Trans Initiative, Nigeria’s Velma Foundation, and Kenya’s Winam Wezesha Accelerator.