Burkina Faso Talks About Protecting Children From Internet

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Written by Dana Sanchez

There is no common legislation in West Africa to protect children under age 18 who surf the Internet, but the Burkina Faso government is talking about it following National Internet Week, which was held in December in the capital, Ouagadougou.

Children in this part of the world appear to have fallen in love with the Internet and are logging on anyway they can, according to an unsigned report in BiztechAfrica.

Children have become digital citizens in a digital world that has no
boundaries, said Psychiatrist Serges Tisseron.

Speakers at the conference urged ICT stakeholders, parents and tutors to protect children against the new dangers of the Internet.

It’s common to see children visiting what look like unsavory sites in West African Internet cafés from Senegal to Mali, Ghana, Burkina Faso to Ivory Coast and Benin, BiztechAfrica reported.

Some delegates at Internet Week blamed Internet café operators for letting children use the Internet unsupervised.

Paul Sawadogo, an Internet café manager, said online monitoring of
children must begin at home, not outside the home.

Internet Week panelist Inoussa Sanfo said children are unaware of the dangers they face online. Sanfo called on parents and tutors to be vigilant and constantly monitor what their children see online.

Augustin Bazié, a high-­ranking state official, said protective measures will not be effective if parents lack ICT knowledge, according to BiztechAfrica. Parents need to be trained in ICT so they can supervise and control their children online, he said. There’s a need to create awareness about the problem.


About Dana Sanchez

Dana Sanchez was born in South Africa and is a U.S. citizen. After working in advertising, she went back to school and earned a master's degree in journalism from the University of South Florida. As a business writer, she won regional and national writing awards. As editor of a daily newspaper, she coordinated staff writers, freelancers and photographers in the fast-paced environment of daily news. Dana was an editor at Moguldom Media Group for four years, helping to build and manage a team of staff and freelance writers. She works now on Moguldom.com for Nubai Ventures. A long-distance hiker and cyclist, she writes about the business of technology.