Nigeria: UN Agency Appoints First Lady of Nigeria to Champion Child Online Protection

The First Lady of Nigeria, Dame Patience Jonathan, was today formally appointed as the UN International Telecommunication Union's (ITU) Child Online Protection Champion.

"Dame Patience Jonathan has demonstrated deep interest in activities of children and young people," said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré speaking at a ceremony earlier today.

"Under her guidance, the Government of Nigeria is now taking extensive steps to ensure a safer online environment for children. ITU is looking forward to collaborating even more closely with Nigeria to build a better future for our children."

Among her responsibilities, the First Lady will work toward creating a safe environment for children while they are on the internet, as well as push for reforms not only in the Africa region but across the globe.

Noting that children and youth are among the top users of the Internet, Ms. Jonathan, who is also President of the African First Ladies Peace Mission, pledged to "join hands with ITU to secure the children of the world from the dangers of cybercrime."

Launched in 2008, the Child Online Protection (COP) initiative aims to identify risks and vulnerabilities to children in cyberspace, create awareness, develop practical tools to help minimize risk, and share knowledge and experience.

ITU launched the COP initiative in 2008 as part of the overall thrust to strengthen cybersecurity. According to the UN agency, its COP brings together partners from various sectors to ensure a safe and secure online experience for children around the world.

Earlier today, ITU signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nigerian Communication Commission to set up a Regional Cybersecurity Centre in the African country.

This Regional Centre will facilitate collaboration on combating cyber threats at the regional and national levels - with an emphasis on activities related to protecting children online.

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